Comcast Bolsters Customer Service Staff

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Comcast is expanding its work force in Metro Detroit as the company moves to complete a customer-service call center expansion in the area.

Comcast conducted the first of a series of planned job fairs for customer-service and technician jobs on April 25. The MSO was looking to add 100 new CSRs to its employee base. By the end of the day, 1,930 people had attended the job fair, according to Jerome Espy, Comcast director of communications in Michigan. The company will eventually hire a total of 400 customer service-related employees in the region this year, Espy said.

Part of the allure is Comcast’s employment packages. For instance, the company has a tuition reimbursement program that appeals to high school graduates. In addition, the unemployment rate in Detroit was 6.8% in March as the nation’s largest auto manufacturers laid off thousands of workers.

“Improving customer service is something we’ve been doing all along,” Espy said. “It’s getting some attention in the press now because of the upswing in competition from the telephone companies. But we’ve had competition from every direction for years.”

Indeed, WideOpenWest -- a wireline cable operator created by Ameritech in the 1990s and later sold -- directly competes with Comcast in 42 Detroit suburbs. DirecTV and EchoStar’s Dish Network also compete for video customers. Comcast is up against AT&T for phone and high-speed data customers. The competition from the nation’s largest telco is expected to heat up as AT&T enters new markets with its U-Verse video product.

“Competition is going to continue becoming more intense,” Espy said. “We intend to remain consistent in moving the needle ever higher so customers have the overall experience.”

That means adding more people to answer questions, solve problems and sell new products. By expanding the call center in Detroit, customers will now be able to talk to people who live and work in their communities. Previously, customer calls in Michigan were routed to a call center in Minnesota.

“Now all the calls made here will be handled here,” Espy said. “So when a customer calls, the CSR will know the area and know what’s happening in the area. It’s just another way to make the customer feel comfortable and will help the CSRs solve problems easier.”

Comcast’s Michigan market isn’t the only area adding customer service reps to its rosters. The MSO is also adding 60 jobs in the Sacramento, Calif., area. The new hires follow the addition of 175 technical employee positions last September in preparation for a new $12 million technical operations center expected to open in July, according to the Stockton Record. The new facility is replacing an older tech ops center.

The new hires will enable Comcast to streamline some operations and improve customer response time and service, Comcast spokesman Bryan Byrd told the Record.

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