Key to Satisfaction: Perfect Installs, Cookies

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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 here Monday.

That ascension describes Time Warner Cable’s Los Angeles division in 2001, as it was among the lowest-ranked of the MSO’s 37 divisions in terms of consumer loyalty and satisfaction, according to the division’s vice president of customer care, Eric Burton. Surveys showed that customers believed the company didn’t care.

The division reversed its fortunes by lowering the price of digital TV; linking employee incentives to productivity and revenue, not just sales; acknowledging loyalty with anniversary cards; and owning up to service miscues by awarding consumers with baskets of cookies and an apology.

In Time Warner’s Greensboro, N.C., division, aspiring to the perfect install drives loyalty, VP of customer care Diane Blackwood said. Newly installed customers are surveyed about their experience while the installer is still there, tidying up, to make sure the customer is satisfied that they know how to use their new technology.

The division is also the pilot site for a national retention center, with a tier-three-level team empowered to resolve problems, then determine the cause of the complaint and its escalation to share with other customer-service personnel in order 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,” VP of customer operations Karen Kralnick said.

“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% per year and customer satisfaction of 90%, she added.

Comcast Corp.’s Northeast division has launched bimonthly customer mailers targeted toward consumers, who are at risk to drop service, marketing-strategies manager Meredith Lawless Black said. Mailer content is one-half product info and one-half discounting opportunities for products offered by Comcast or partner retailers.