CTAM Huddles on Customer Care

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About 175 people attended the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s Customer Care Forum, held in Atlanta.

It was the first such meeting CTAM has organized for customer-service executives, whose discipline has become increasingly important for cable operators seeking to retain customers and prevent them from leaving cable for satellite.

The Nov. 17 forum featured presentations from customer-service executives at Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems Corp., Mediacom Communications Corp., Adelphia Communications Corp. and Charter Communications Inc.

CTAM officials declined to discuss the content of the presentations at the forum, which was off-limits to the press.

“This was an MSO-only session. It was sharing of the [CTAM MSO Customer Care] Committee work, not a traditional CTAM conference,” said CTAM senior vice president of marketing Seth Morrison.

Based on feedback from attendees, CTAM may hold similar events in the future, but the organization “definitely would not make it an annual event,” Morrison said.

Cox Communications Inc. CEO Jim Robbins gave a keynote address that CTAM said was focused on Cox’s approach to customer care.

According to the CTAM program, the forum also featured a keynote address from J.D. Power and Associates senior director Steve Kirekeby.

Breakout sessions were also reportedly held on understanding and using metrics; call-center organization; customer retention; training and knowledge management; building the field and call center relationship; and interactive voice response and automated systems.

The forum also included networking sessions sponsored by companies such as DST Innovis Inc., TeleTech Holdings, EarthLink Inc. and Starz Encore Group.

The forum was organized by CTAM’s MSO customer-care committee, which is co-chaired by Time Warner Cable chief marketing officer Chuck Ellis and Comcast executive vice president of operations Dave Watson.

Morrison said the customer care committee is working on a number of other initiatives, which he declined to detail. But he said the CTAM committee would not create industry wide customer service standards.

“We don’t believe in and are not looking to do industry-wide standards. Our role here is to share case studies, share ideas and share information, and to then put that out to the industry,” Morrison said.

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