When you hear “Comcast Customer Service”, normally you think of “it sucks” either based on your past personal experience or based on horrifying stories you’ve read on the internet. It’s not a surprise that in 2014, Comcast was America’s least favorite company and for the second straight year in 2015, it topped the Hall of Shame as the company with the worst customer service. In fact, there is a dedicated subreddit for all disgruntled Comcast customers.
So when the time comes for you to contact Comcast’s Customer Service, you are already not looking forward to the call, and also have very low expectations for getting your issue resolved in a timely manner. But when you receive a totally unexpected “wow” and pleasant experience, you can’t resist but to share that experience and give credits to those have worked hard on changing a demoter like most of us to a promoter. And since I work at a company who provides software to large enterprises to deliver similar “wow” experiences to their customers, I had a special appreciation by being on the other side of the fence.
So here’s my experience –
A few days ago, we had an outage in our area for the Internet connection. Well, I didn’t know it was an area wide outage before I called Comcast Customer support. All I knew was — my internet connection wasn’t working after a couple of reboot cycles of the modem, router, etc. So eventually I called the 1–800-Comcast number.
Instantly after few rings, it detected me based on my phone number, and I didn’t have to go through the series of authentication and identification steps. I was ready to get served.
Proactive reminder of a pending task
The moment I was authenticated, the automated IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system proactively reminded me that I need to upgrade my modem. All I need to do is to visit the nearest Comcast location and receive a newer modem.
Natural language interaction
After that reminder, the next prompt was — “How can I help you?”. It didn’t ask me to listen to all menu options, and then let me figure out in which category of their menus does my problem fit, and then keep pressing respective numbers to traverse through menu tree to reach to the destination option I need! There was no such crap! It was a free flow open interface — just talk what your problem is in natural language — the way you would normally talk with a human agent.
I said that “my internet is not working”. That’s it. And it figured out what my intent was, and offered me the right treatment.
Once their automated IVR system understood what my intent of call was, then it immediately prompted my address and zip code and asked me to confirm if I’m calling about that region. I confirmed “Yes”.
Then it informed me that there is a known outage in that area, and their technicians are looking into it. They expect to resolve the issue very soon.
Empathic user experience
While they explained to me that the technicians are working on resolving an outage, I was still wondering, but how long shall I wait? While I was just thinking about it, the automated IVR system asked me — if I would like to receive an SMS update on my phone about when the outage will be resolved? I confirmed “Yes”.
Then it prompted my mobile number and asked to confirm if it should send me an update on that number. I confirmed “Yes”. That’s it. In the end, it greeted me well and said it would update me as soon as the issue is resolved.
Roughly about 30 minutes, I received a text from Comcast that the outage issue is resolved and I should have my internet connectivity back. And sure it was! No refreshing of webpages in browser to see if the internet is back. The automated system informed me as soon it was available.
And I was a delighted customer! It was a complete self-service experience across many different topics, and I did not have to talk to a human agent once. I certainly had many “wow” moments during the entire interaction and post interaction. Obviously you can see that as I wrote a whole blog post about it!
I wish they continue to bring this kind of experience to other common issues their customers are facing, and I’m sure one by one these disgruntled customers would turn into their promoters!
Originally published at aditya.kothadiya.com on September 13, 2015.