San Francisco— Representatives of the country’s top operators shared the tips that took them from the outhouse to the penthouse in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty at a session at the National Show on April 4.
Time Warner Cable’s Los Angeles division made that climb in 2001. The system was among the lowest ranked among the MSO’s 37 divisions in terms of consumer loyalty and satisfaction, according to Eric Burton, the division’s vice president of customer care. Surveys showed that customers believed the company didn’t care.
The division reversed its fortunes by lowering the price of digital service, linking employee incentives to productivity and revenue, not just sales, acknowledging loyalty with anniversary cards and owned up to service miscues by giving consumers baskets of cookies and an apology.
In Time Warner’s Greensboro, N.C., division, aspiring to the perfect install drives loyalty, said Diane Blackwood, vice president of customer care. Newly installed customers are surveyed about their experience while the installer is still there, tidying up, to make sure customers know how to use their new technology. The division is also the pilot site for a national retention centered, with a tier-3-level team empowered to resolve problems then determine the cause of the complaint and its escalation to share with other customer service personnel to prevent recurrence.
Cox Communications Inc.’s Orange County, Calif., system has achieved low churn and high customer and employee satisfaction through “heart-based leadership,” said Karen Kralnick, vice president of customer operations. “I know it’s radical in the work environment, to come to work with your heart open … but if you do, your team will communicate their truth and it gets rid of the politics,” she said.
An environment of trust has created a business with employee churn of less than 15% a year and customer satisfaction of 90%, she added.
Comcast Corp.’s Northeast Division has launched bi-monthly customer mailers targeted at consumers, who are at risk to drop service, said Meredith Lawless Black, marketing strategies manager. Mailer content is half product info and half discounting opportunities for products offered by Comcast or partner retailers.