Turning Bad Customer Experiences into Wow Experiences

Bad customer experiences can be great opportunities to transform not-wow into wow. When people have a bad customer experience, their expectations are lowered. Usually, this results in the customer abandoning the product or service and moving to a competitor.

Magician's Want and Hat - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/AndyL, Image #1617900

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/AndyL

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it can be an opportunity for organizations to win customers and generate positive word-of-mouth. But it all hinges on someone taking the initiative.

For example, I recently switched Internet service in my home from AT&T DSL to Comcast cable. AT&T had provided us with consistent, reliable service for years. But Comcast promised to deliver approximately three times the download speed and ten times the upload speed. When I found this out, I switched. It was a no-brainer.

Comcast definitely lived up to its speed claims. In fact, we were often getting even faster download speeds than we were promised. However, the service was extremely unreliable. We found ourselves rebooting the cable modem several times a day.

Last Saturday evening, after rebooting the modem five times, I had had enough. I called Comcast customer service. After navigating through a complex and frustrating phone tree, I finally got a real human on the phone. She checked my connection remotely, walked me through a trouble-shooting protocol, and eventually came to a dead-end.

“Sir, I need to send a technician to your home. Does Wednesday work for you?” (Keep in mind this was Saturday.)

“Are you kidding me?” I said, assuming she could send one out on Sunday or Monday at the latest.

“No, sir, I am not kidding you. That is the first repair slot I have available. Would you prefer the morning, between 8:00 and noon, or the afternoon, between 1:00 and 5:00.”

“Actually, I would prefer tomorrow,” I quipped. “I cannot wait until Wednesday. I depend on the Internet to do my work.”

“Sir, I apologize,” she stated coldly, “but Wednesday is the best we can do. Do you want us to come out or not?”

“Well, then I guess I don’t have a choice,” I said, as my expectations took a nosedive. “Afternoon is best … but I don’t appreciate having to pay for a service I’m not getting.” I held out the faint hope that she might at least comp my service for a month to compensate for the downtime and hassle I had experienced.

“I would be happy to credit your account for the five days between now and the time the technician repairs your system.” She sounded annoyed.

“Fine,” I acquiesced, realizing that she was playing strictly by the book.

I then hung up, feeling like I had just had a head-on collision with a heartless municipal monopoly. I felt powerless and frustrated.

Like I do throughout the day, I then Twittered about my experience—and my frustration. In fact, after seven tweets, it got to the point that my own family and a few friends threatened to stop following me on Twitter. “This is not like you. You need to stop. Now!” That got my attention.

About fifteen minutes later, I was contacted on Twitter by Frank Eliason from Philadelphia (a.k.a., “@ComcastCares”). Here was our Twitter conversation. Keep in mind that Twitter usernames are preceded by the “@” symbol:

@ComcastCares: “Were they able to assist?”
@MichaelHyatt: “You obviously haven’t read my early tweets. I am not a happy camper.”
@ComcastCares: “I am sorry for the bad experience. Let me review the signals on the account and see what I notice. What is the phone number on the account?”
@MichaelHyatt: “XXX-XXX-XXXX. My issue is that that they can’t send someone out until Wednesday to fix it!”
@ComcastCares: “I agree. It is completely unacceptable especially since we did not get it right the first time. That is first date available to me but…”
@ComcastCares: “I want to see what I can get done for you. What is a good contact number? I am looking to see what contacts I have in your area.”

Frank then tried to solve my problem remotely. Like the first rep I talked with, he was unable to do it. However, he promised me that a technician would be at my house the next day—on Sunday. I was skeptical.

On my way to church, I got a call on my cell phone. It was a local Comcast technican. “Mr. Hyatt, this is Jeremy with Comcast. I will be at your house in 20 minutes, if that is okay.”

“Actually, it’s not okay. I am on my way to church…. Any chance you could come this afternoon? I will be home by noon.” I just knew I had missed my chance. Darn. I thought to myself.

“No problem,” he assured me. “I’ll give you call after lunch.”

True to his word, he called and then showed up with two other technicians at about 1:00 p.m.

He started the conversations by saying, “Mr. Hyatt, I am sorry you are having problems with your cable service, but I can promise you this. We will solve your problem today if I have to crawl over every inch of your house.”

Jeremy worked with his friends for the next two hours. They checked and double-checked everything. I won’t go into all the details, but they found the problem: a bad cable split on the street that was creating a lot of noise. It was causing me to lose my IP connection repeatedly.

The wonderul thing is that they quickly fixed the problem. I have not had a single issue since Jeremy left. He solved the problem—and apparently solved it for good.

However, this would never have happened if Frank had not taken the initiative to stand for wow. Any other outcome was simply not acceptable.

Here’s my take-away:

  • Bad customer experiences are inevitable.
  • You have to plan for them.
  • You have to have a plan in place to deal with them.
  • You have to move with lightening speed.
  • You must make a commitment to fix the problem—and then deliver.

Suffice it to say, Frank and Jeremy’s response wowed me. I was on the verge of reverting to AT&T (which I still had not disconnected). However, I am now an evangelist for Comcast. Frank’s initiative—just one person—turned my not-wow experience into a wow experience. And now his action is forever digitally enshrined in my blog.

It just goes to show you that everything you do matters. You can turn things around. You can create wow. But it begins with a decision.

Your decision.

Question: Where can you take the initiative now to stand for wow and make a difference?
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://twitter.com/leonderijke @leonderijke

    Wow, that's customer service! Did they bill you for the repair? Did they charge any weekend or Sunday fees?

  • http://twitter.com/leonderijke @leonderijke

    Wow, that's customer service! Did they bill you for the repair? Did they charge any weekend or Sunday fees?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    No, amazingly, they didn't. I guess they figured it was their problem.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    No, amazingly, they didn't. I guess they figured it was their problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647417651 Eric S. Mueller

    Actually, that ruins some of the "Wow". I had a case last year when my cable modem went down for several hours. I called 1-800-COMCAST, where I ended up arguing for 40 minutes with a rep who insisted that my problem was caused by the fact that my router caused me to lose my IP address and I was going to have to call Microsoft to get another one. Then I could call Comcast back and get online. I argued with this woman that this is not how DHCP networking works (what if I had a Mac anyway), and demanded an engineer or a manager. She told me that there were none. I could hear somebody talking over her shoulder, but I couldn't tell if they were messing with her or me. The whole thing got me really ticked off.

    I called back about the issue 4 times, but each time I got cut off. One time, I was told that my call would be routed to customer service (I thought that's what 1-800-COMCAST was) and I was routed straight to a dial tone.

    I ranted about this on my blog several times. Finally, somebody from Comcast Cares stopped by and left a comment inviting me to call them. I did, and a tech was sent to my house to fix the problem. He replaced most of my coax and checked my signal strength, and it was good.

    The question I have, is if the service provided by 1-800-COMCAST is that consistently bad, why don't they turn the entire service center into Comcast Cares? Why do they need an entire other office to clean up the mess?

    By the way, they never offered to compensate me for my lost service, even when I demanded it. Also, I was never told by Comcast Cares, that there would be a service charge for the tech visit. I didn't mind paying for it, but they should have told me up front.

    This definitely killed my "wow" of Comcast. I only stay with them because there is no alternative. My experience with Verizon DSL was so bad I have no choice but to endure Comcast or to totally offline.

    • http://www.comcast.com/ ComcastCares

      I would love the promotion! Actually we have a great team in place to change the Customer experience. My team was a small part of a much larger effort to transform the experience for our Customers. I wish every interaction was perfect, but we know it took us time to reach the level of service many have come to expect, and it will take us time to turn that around. What I will promise you is we will.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

        I hope for success in your transformation.

        I have basic Comcast cable and AT&T DSL and have considered ditching AT&T for speed like Michael. However, I also am a regular reader of Consumerist (http://consumerist.com/search/comcast/). It's a challenge not to be pessimistic about Comcast customer service after reading posts on that site.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

          That being said regarding Comcast, my parent's have had a year-long struggle with AT&T and it was finally resolved by the Kansas Corporation Commission.

          It was absolutely i-n-s-a-n-e.

        • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

          That being said regarding Comcast, my parents had a year-long struggle with AT&T regarding DSL service that was finally resolved by the Kansas Corporation Commission.

          It was absolutely i-n-s-a-n-e.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/stephenbateman stephenbateman

        well one things for sure, ComcastCares is fluent in the social web. the most we can hope for 1-800-COMCAST is fluent in English!

      • http://twitter.com/wezlo @wezlo

        I've got to say, dealing with the 800 number in the past has been nothing but painful for me as well – I had the same, "It's your router" response a few months back – even when I told them I tried three routers and had the same issues. Then it was 4 days to get a tech out, I solved it myself before they came – by spoofing a non-router MAC. Needless to say I was not happy.

        Last week, though my speed went wonky again though (to 768k dsl speeds) and they sent a tech out the next day. He looked at the way our house had been wired and said, "Wow, that's bad." Turns out the line from the pole had about a 20 year old cable on it, and the initial install when I got there ran a line through the gutter on my roof, which was probably helping to short out the line. He got me up and running, and then showed up on Monday to finish the job just like he said he would.

        So if you are and that are examples of Comcast finally getting customer service – then you are off to a good start. I moan when I get bounced off 1st tier tech support – but I'll give credit where credit is due.

        And I'm S. Jersey, btw – go Phils…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your thoughts. I think @ComcastCares is working to turn this around (as he noted in his comment).

      However, the point of the post was not about Comcast's customer service record per se. The main thing I wanted to spotlight was that one person can make a difference for the customers they touch.

      It kind of reminds me of world hunger. You may not be able to solve the world's hunger problems, but you can solve a child or a family's hunger problem. The issue is whether or not you and I are willing to take the initiative with the customers we encounter on a day-to-day basis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647417651 Eric S. Mueller

    Actually, that ruins some of the "Wow". I had a case last year when my cable modem went down for several hours. I called 1-800-COMCAST, where I ended up arguing for 40 minutes with a rep who insisted that my problem was caused by the fact that my router caused me to lose my IP address and I was going to have to call Microsoft to get another one. Then I could call Comcast back and get online. I argued with this woman that this is not how DHCP networking works (what if I had a Mac anyway), and demanded an engineer or a manager. She told me that there were none. I could hear somebody talking over her shoulder, but I couldn't tell if they were messing with her or me. The whole thing got me really ticked off.

    I called back about the issue 4 times, but each time I got cut off. One time, I was told that my call would be routed to customer service (I thought that's what 1-800-COMCAST was) and I was routed straight to a dial tone.

    I ranted about this on my blog several times. Finally, somebody from Comcast Cares stopped by and left a comment inviting me to call them. I did, and a tech was sent to my house to fix the problem. He replaced most of my coax and checked my signal strength, and it was good.

    The question I have, is if the service provided by 1-800-COMCAST is that consistently bad, why don't they turn the entire service center into Comcast Cares? Why do they need an entire other office to clean up the mess?

    By the way, they never offered to compensate me for my lost service, even when I demanded it. Also, I was never told by Comcast Cares, that there would be a service charge for the tech visit. I didn't mind paying for it, but they should have told me up front.

    This definitely killed my "wow" of Comcast. I only stay with them because there is no alternative. My experience with Verizon DSL was so bad I have no choice but to endure Comcast or to totally offline.

    • http://www.comcast.com/ ComcastCares

      I would love the promotion! Actually we have a great team in place to change the Customer experience. My team was a small part of a much larger effort to transform the experience for our Customers. I wish every interaction was perfect, but we know it took us time to reach the level of service many have come to expect, and it will take us time to turn that around. What I will promise you is we will.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

        I hope for success in your transformation.

        I have basic Comcast cable and AT&T DSL and have considered ditching AT&T for speed like Michael. However, I also am a regular reader of Consumerist (http://consumerist.com/search/comcast/). It's a challenge not to be pessimistic about Comcast customer service after reading posts on that site.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

          That being said regarding Comcast, my parent's have had a year-long struggle with AT&T and it was finally resolved by the Kansas Corporation Commission.

          It was absolutely i-n-s-a-n-e.

        • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

          That being said regarding Comcast, my parents had a year-long struggle with AT&T regarding DSL service that was finally resolved by the Kansas Corporation Commission.

          It was absolutely i-n-s-a-n-e.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/stephenbateman stephenbateman

        well one things for sure, ComcastCares is fluent in the social web. the most we can hope for 1-800-COMCAST is fluent in English!

      • http://twitter.com/wezlo @wezlo

        I've got to say, dealing with the 800 number in the past has been nothing but painful for me as well – I had the same, "It's your router" response a few months back – even when I told them I tried three routers and had the same issues. Then it was 4 days to get a tech out, I solved it myself before they came – by spoofing a non-router MAC. Needless to say I was not happy.

        Last week, though my speed went wonky again though (to 768k dsl speeds) and they sent a tech out the next day. He looked at the way our house had been wired and said, "Wow, that's bad." Turns out the line from the pole had about a 20 year old cable on it, and the initial install when I got there ran a line through the gutter on my roof, which was probably helping to short out the line. He got me up and running, and then showed up on Monday to finish the job just like he said he would.

        So if you are and that are examples of Comcast finally getting customer service – then you are off to a good start. I moan when I get bounced off 1st tier tech support – but I'll give credit where credit is due.

        And I'm S. Jersey, btw – go Phils…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your thoughts. I think @ComcastCares is working to turn this around (as he noted in his comment).

      However, the point of the post was not about Comcast's customer service record per se. The main thing I wanted to spotlight was that one person can make a difference for the customers they touch.

      It kind of reminds me of world hunger. You may not be able to solve the world's hunger problems, but you can solve a child or a family's hunger problem. The issue is whether or not you and I are willing to take the initiative with the customers we encounter on a day-to-day basis.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

    Not to be a downer or anything, but do you think you got preferential treatment because you're Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, blogger extraordinaire, etc?

    What Eric mentioned above is what I expect everyday people experience from Comcast.

    • http://www.comcast.com/ ComcastCares

      No, in fact to be honest I did not know who Michael was until the next day was someone tweeted the same thing

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Again, even if I was given preferential treatment, that is not the point of this post. The point is that all of us can make a difference and can create wow experiences for others IF we choose to do so.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/wvpv wvpv

    Not to be a downer or anything, but do you think you got preferential treatment because you're Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, blogger extraordinaire, etc?

    What Eric mentioned above is what I expect everyday people experience from Comcast.

    • http://www.comcast.com/ ComcastCares

      No, in fact to be honest I did not know who Michael was until the next day was someone tweeted the same thing

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Again, even if I was given preferential treatment, that is not the point of this post. The point is that all of us can make a difference and can create wow experiences for others IF we choose to do so.

  • Christy O

    I agree with above – this isn't "good customer service", it is damage control. You tweeted repeatedly, you have a lot of followers, and you got the attention of someone with the power to fix your problem, aka "make you stop spreading bad press about Comcast". I suspect that your initial level of service is more typical, and probably what the 98% of Comcast customers without a media platform receive. That's not "wow", at all. Wow is when ordinary Joe customer gets the attention they deserve.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Christy, I respectfully disagree. The point is not what you "get," but what you give. This was not a post about how to get better customer service or why everyone deserves a certain level of customer service. The point was that you and I can make a difference in the lives of our customers and clients when we decide to take the initiative and create a wow experience for them. We can't judge whether the experience was wow for them; only they can determine that. My experience with Comcast was wow, and I owe that to @ComcastCares—one guy, sitting in Philadelphia, with the passion to make a difference.

  • Christy O

    I agree with above – this isn't "good customer service", it is damage control. You tweeted repeatedly, you have a lot of followers, and you got the attention of someone with the power to fix your problem, aka "make you stop spreading bad press about Comcast". I suspect that your initial level of service is more typical, and probably what the 98% of Comcast customers without a media platform receive. That's not "wow", at all. Wow is when ordinary Joe customer gets the attention they deserve.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Christy, I respectfully disagree. The point is not what you "get," but what you give. This was not a post about how to get better customer service or why everyone deserves a certain level of customer service. The point was that you and I can make a difference in the lives of our customers and clients when we decide to take the initiative and create a wow experience for them. We can't judge whether the experience was wow for them; only they can determine that. My experience with Comcast was wow, and I owe that to @ComcastCares—one guy, sitting in Philadelphia, with the passion to make a difference.

  • http://twitter.com/tommylane @tommylane

    I'm glad things worked out for you, Mike. This is an excellent success story.
    I had a great experience with Verizon DSL recently. After following the usual frustrating phone prompts and having to explain my problem over and over again to different people, I was finally connected to a special team that operates like CTU does on the tv show, 24. They have access to everything needed to fix things and they know their stuff.

    After all of the frustration I went through for months trying to get things right on my DSL account following my switch to "dry loop" service, this special team cleared up everything seamlessly with absolutely no interrupted service, something regular Verizon pathways said would be impossible. I have nothing to say but good things about this team. They were courteous, professional, knowledgeable and undersanding. They turned my experience into a wow experience for me, as well. I am very impressed with them.

  • http://twitter.com/tommylane @tommylane

    I'm glad things worked out for you, Mike. This is an excellent success story.
    I had a great experience with Verizon DSL recently. After following the usual frustrating phone prompts and having to explain my problem over and over again to different people, I was finally connected to a special team that operates like CTU does on the tv show, 24. They have access to everything needed to fix things and they know their stuff.

    After all of the frustration I went through for months trying to get things right on my DSL account following my switch to "dry loop" service, this special team cleared up everything seamlessly with absolutely no interrupted service, something regular Verizon pathways said would be impossible. I have nothing to say but good things about this team. They were courteous, professional, knowledgeable and undersanding. They turned my experience into a wow experience for me, as well. I am very impressed with them.

  • Sandy Bradley

    I have to agree with Christy O . . . your original experience with the Comcast Customer Serivce is more the status quo but I am also wondering why they don't just send everything to the Cares tem since they apparently do care about the level of service they provide. Even though my only experience with Comcast is on the television end, the experience was not a good one but I keep putting off making the call because it means I will have to drive about 50 miles (roundtrip) to return their equipment. (ahh procrastination . . .) Thanks, Mike for the opportunity to comment on this issue.

  • Sandy Bradley

    I have to agree with Christy O . . . your original experience with the Comcast Customer Serivce is more the status quo but I am also wondering why they don't just send everything to the Cares tem since they apparently do care about the level of service they provide. Even though my only experience with Comcast is on the television end, the experience was not a good one but I keep putting off making the call because it means I will have to drive about 50 miles (roundtrip) to return their equipment. (ahh procrastination . . .) Thanks, Mike for the opportunity to comment on this issue.

  • Robert Parrish

    Must be a global problem with Internet Service Providers. We live in semi-rural southwest Missouri and used to have MediaCom cable service. When something went bad with our modem, their solution was to send a technician in 10 days – ten whole days! Same scenario you went through, Mike – person on the phone went by the book. Unfortunately, there's no "MediaCom Cares" advocate like Comcast. We'd switch to them if they were available. Because the MediaCom solution was not acceptable, we switched to CenturyTel DSL service. A little slower on downloads and uploads, but much faster on technical service.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It is tough to balance speed vs. reliability. Happily, because of Frank's intervention, I now have both. I'm a happy customer.

  • Robert Parrish

    Must be a global problem with Internet Service Providers. We live in semi-rural southwest Missouri and used to have MediaCom cable service. When something went bad with our modem, their solution was to send a technician in 10 days – ten whole days! Same scenario you went through, Mike – person on the phone went by the book. Unfortunately, there's no "MediaCom Cares" advocate like Comcast. We'd switch to them if they were available. Because the MediaCom solution was not acceptable, we switched to CenturyTel DSL service. A little slower on downloads and uploads, but much faster on technical service.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It is tough to balance speed vs. reliability. Happily, because of Frank's intervention, I now have both. I'm a happy customer.

  • http://www.KristinePratt.com/ Kristine Pratt

    I want to thank you for this post today. I know that I've dropped the ball with a couple of my clients recently due to some outside (personal life) interference. Your comments today helped me realize that I can still make this a wow experience for these clients. Your advice about having a solid plan in place makes me realize that this is an important thing to plan for as I start up my business. I won't always get it right much as I want to. It's important to plan for failure as much as success I see and perhaps even moreso in some regards. Thank you for giving me a new outlook!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Kristine, this is EXACTLY the outcome I was hoping for when I wrote my post. This is an opportunity for all of us—me included—to look in the mirror and say, "How can I make this a wow experience for MY clients and customers?"

  • http://www.KristinePratt.com/ Kristine Pratt

    I want to thank you for this post today. I know that I've dropped the ball with a couple of my clients recently due to some outside (personal life) interference. Your comments today helped me realize that I can still make this a wow experience for these clients. Your advice about having a solid plan in place makes me realize that this is an important thing to plan for as I start up my business. I won't always get it right much as I want to. It's important to plan for failure as much as success I see and perhaps even moreso in some regards. Thank you for giving me a new outlook!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Kristine, this is EXACTLY the outcome I was hoping for when I wrote my post. This is an opportunity for all of us—me included—to look in the mirror and say, "How can I make this a wow experience for MY clients and customers?"

  • http://www.RumorsOfGlory.net/blog Lucille Zimmerman

    Michael, what a great story. Actually, it was stories like this that made me jump on the Twitter bandwagon. I downloaded a $10 e-book called "Twitter Means Business" and read it while I worked out on my treadmill. It made me see the practical benefits of Twitter. But, I am also hooked on great customer service. If you don't make it right with customers, they will tell at least 30 people. But if you do, even the most disgruntled folks will become your biggest fans.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It is so true. Marketers focus on the viral nature of the Internet. What they so often miss is that it is a double-edged sword. It essentially gives everyone a microphone and amplifies their voice.

  • http://www.RumorsOfGlory.net/blog Lucille Zimmerman

    Michael, what a great story. Actually, it was stories like this that made me jump on the Twitter bandwagon. I downloaded a $10 e-book called "Twitter Means Business" and read it while I worked out on my treadmill. It made me see the practical benefits of Twitter. But, I am also hooked on great customer service. If you don't make it right with customers, they will tell at least 30 people. But if you do, even the most disgruntled folks will become your biggest fans.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It is so true. Marketers focus on the viral nature of the Internet. What they so often miss is that it is a double-edged sword. It essentially gives everyone a microphone and amplifies their voice.

  • http://baylormum.blogspot.com/ Shellie (baylormum)

    Frank (@comcastcares) almost seems too good to be true! I have few choices in the area I am in. True customer service is rare. Why is that? It's become like someone said, a phone tree. Finding a real person at the other end seems like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! That is not customer service. Great story, Michael. And Frank. :)

  • http://baylormum.blogspot.com/ Shellie (baylormum)

    Frank (@comcastcares) almost seems too good to be true! I have few choices in the area I am in. True customer service is rare. Why is that? It's become like someone said, a phone tree. Finding a real person at the other end seems like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! That is not customer service. Great story, Michael. And Frank. :)

  • http://twitter.com/grfdave @grfdave

    This was a great reminder of what customer service is all about. I cannot relate to Comcast etc as I live in Canada, but the principles remain constant regardless of borders. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://twitter.com/grfdave @grfdave

    This was a great reminder of what customer service is all about. I cannot relate to Comcast etc as I live in Canada, but the principles remain constant regardless of borders. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Rick Yuzzi

    Two lessons learned here. I agree with earlier comments. It is true that this experience highlights the impact that a single employee who cares can have, as well as the "make it happen" attitude of the others that visited your house later. Your impact, as a well connected consumer, could have been detrimental, but their efforts turned you around. However, it is also sad that for most of us, we get the cold, non-caring response from Comcast. Even though you are an evangelist for them, your experience does not apply to the masses, and until Comcast and others take customer service to this level for everyone, they will never turn an occasional WOW into positive WOM.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Obviously, I can't speak for everyone's experience, only my own. But unfortunately, so many companies don't even take the first step toward turning things around. Comcast is obviously not perfect, but they are moving in the right direction. I applaud that.

  • Rick Yuzzi

    Two lessons learned here. I agree with earlier comments. It is true that this experience highlights the impact that a single employee who cares can have, as well as the "make it happen" attitude of the others that visited your house later. Your impact, as a well connected consumer, could have been detrimental, but their efforts turned you around. However, it is also sad that for most of us, we get the cold, non-caring response from Comcast. Even though you are an evangelist for them, your experience does not apply to the masses, and until Comcast and others take customer service to this level for everyone, they will never turn an occasional WOW into positive WOM.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Obviously, I can't speak for everyone's experience, only my own. But unfortunately, so many companies don't even take the first step toward turning things around. Comcast is obviously not perfect, but they are moving in the right direction. I applaud that.

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  • Aaron Dillon

    Hi Michael,

    Great post as usual! And a good description of Comcast service. I just have one small comment. I often see this mistake and hope you might correct it. You said, "It was causing me to loose my IP connection repeatedly." Now, I'm no grammar expert, but for some odd reason I often see people make the mistake of using "loose" instead of "lose." I have no idea why, but it just seems to be a common mistake. This is the third or fourth time I've seen you use "loose" instead of "lose" in a post. I know, everyone is a critic! :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Aaron, thanks. I have fixed this. It is always difficult for me to proof-read my own stuff, This is proof I don't have a ghost-writer! (However, I could probably use a good editor.)

  • Aaron Dillon

    Hi Michael,

    Great post as usual! And a good description of Comcast service. I just have one small comment. I often see this mistake and hope you might correct it. You said, "It was causing me to loose my IP connection repeatedly." Now, I'm no grammar expert, but for some odd reason I often see people make the mistake of using "loose" instead of "lose." I have no idea why, but it just seems to be a common mistake. This is the third or fourth time I've seen you use "loose" instead of "lose" in a post. I know, everyone is a critic! :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Aaron, thanks. I have fixed this. It is always difficult for me to proof-read my own stuff, This is proof I don't have a ghost-writer! (However, I could probably use a good editor.)

  • http://twitter.com/tommylane @tommylane

    Aaron, I see that mistake often, myself. Same thing with "choose" and "chose". In my experience, itt's very common among people for whom English is a second language but I believe it is also a common typo for many people.

  • http://twitter.com/tommylane @tommylane

    Aaron, I see that mistake often, myself. Same thing with "choose" and "chose". In my experience, itt's very common among people for whom English is a second language but I believe it is also a common typo for many people.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Beaconhillnw Jim

    nice job,Comcast..setting up listening devices…key to interaction with your end-users…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Jim, this is a good point. I think it is so critical for companies to set up listening posts on the Internet. It's not that difficult, using Google Alerts and Twitter search.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Beaconhillnw Jim

    nice job,Comcast..setting up listening devices…key to interaction with your end-users…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Jim, this is a good point. I think it is so critical for companies to set up listening posts on the Internet. It's not that difficult, using Google Alerts and Twitter search.

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  • http://jeffcraft.blogspot.com/ Jeff

    Comcast came through with flying colors for you after your unhappy tweets. Why wasn't the customer service people you first dealt with empowered to give you the next day action that Frank offerred? If you had not posted those disgruntled tweets you would have waited until Wednesday. The lessons here are Comcast ultimately did come through and the power of twitter is growing.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think this would be a good internal case study for Comcast. The goal would not be to punish the phone people, but to empower them to solve the problem the first time. Ultimately, this is less expensive—and frustrating—for everyone.

  • http://jeffcraft.blogspot.com/ Jeff

    Comcast came through with flying colors for you after your unhappy tweets. Why wasn't the customer service people you first dealt with empowered to give you the next day action that Frank offerred? If you had not posted those disgruntled tweets you would have waited until Wednesday. The lessons here are Comcast ultimately did come through and the power of twitter is growing.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think this would be a good internal case study for Comcast. The goal would not be to punish the phone people, but to empower them to solve the problem the first time. Ultimately, this is less expensive—and frustrating—for everyone.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    First, our internet service with Charter has been wonderful and I have no complaints. But can I take what you have written and transpose it to education! One of our guidance counselors and I were just talking about the concept that many of our students don't succeed because they aren't finding value in what we're teaching. Right now, I am brainstorming on how I can teach my juniors and seniors so they will have WOW experiences and will gain what they need to have a fair shake at a decent life. So much of their future rests in how fluent they are in reading and writing. Of course, I welcome any one to pray for my quest and to give suggestions. Thanks!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Patricia, I think so many teachers underestimate the power of inspiration. Education is more than the transfer of information. It is about inspiring people to be all that they can be. When this kicks in, students WANT to know what you know.

      I saw this up close and personal in Ethiopia. Education is a huge priority, even for people that have no access to clean water. They take their education very seriously because they are inspired to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of those they love.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

        I so agree–sometimes I feel like education in our country comes way too easy for our students. Right now, I feel like quite a bit of my job is selling the necessity of a good education. Don't get me wrong, we have our college-bound students, but they make up about half our student body. Many of the others, even as seniors, don't have a clue about what they want to do. And, with today's economic situation, the less education a person has, the harder it is to even be considered for a job that meets his or her economic needs. But, I'm not giving up–I'm thinking about what I need to teach my juniors and seniors and how to do it efficiently. For the most part, they know I care and are more inclined to do the work (even though they still complain).

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    First, our internet service with Charter has been wonderful and I have no complaints. But can I take what you have written and transpose it to education! One of our guidance counselors and I were just talking about the concept that many of our students don't succeed because they aren't finding value in what we're teaching. Right now, I am brainstorming on how I can teach my juniors and seniors so they will have WOW experiences and will gain what they need to have a fair shake at a decent life. So much of their future rests in how fluent they are in reading and writing. Of course, I welcome any one to pray for my quest and to give suggestions. Thanks!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Patricia, I think so many teachers underestimate the power of inspiration. Education is more than the transfer of information. It is about inspiring people to be all that they can be. When this kicks in, students WANT to know what you know.

      I saw this up close and personal in Ethiopia. Education is a huge priority, even for people that have no access to clean water. They take their education very seriously because they are inspired to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of those they love.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

        I so agree–sometimes I feel like education in our country comes way too easy for our students. Right now, I feel like quite a bit of my job is selling the necessity of a good education. Don't get me wrong, we have our college-bound students, but they make up about half our student body. Many of the others, even as seniors, don't have a clue about what they want to do. And, with today's economic situation, the less education a person has, the harder it is to even be considered for a job that meets his or her economic needs. But, I'm not giving up–I'm thinking about what I need to teach my juniors and seniors and how to do it efficiently. For the most part, they know I care and are more inclined to do the work (even though they still complain).

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/fschlegel Fred H Schlegel

    I've heard stories about @comcastcares, he seems to pull off saves rather consistently, which is great. I wish the story could have been solved with the first call to the network center, however, because what this ends up sounding like is 'squeaky wheel' customer service. I've stuck with AT&T for the reasons you are now a Comcast convert. Their service seems to be more consistently same day or next day delivery without having to whine.

    • http://www.comcast.com/ ComcastCares

      I actually wish it was solved during the first call too. The lead time was too long for an appointment, and as we have all realized the internet is becoming a lifeline. We are working to improve the level of service for all our valued Customers.

      I should also mention, my teams email address is We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com

      We love to hear from our Customers

      Frank

      • http://twitter.com/wezlo @wezlo

        Frank how soon til you guys are 1st Tier support?

        I'm sure you're aware that the fact that, (a) we know your name and (b) you're active on social networking makes you a person to folks – rather than a faceless drone reading from a script.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      By the way, I am amazed at Comcast's embrace of social media. How many customer service people Twitter and comment on blogs. This is evidence of the fact that they are listening.

      No, Comcast may not have it all figured out, but they are doing what 99% of organizations are NOT doing—monitoring their brand online.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/fschlegel Fred H Schlegel

    I've heard stories about @comcastcares, he seems to pull off saves rather consistently, which is great. I wish the story could have been solved with the first call to the network center, however, because what this ends up sounding like is 'squeaky wheel' customer service. I've stuck with AT&T for the reasons you are now a Comcast convert. Their service seems to be more consistently same day or next day delivery without having to whine.

    • http://www.comcast.com ComcastCares

      I actually wish it was solved during the first call too. The lead time was too long for an appointment, and as we have all realized the internet is becoming a lifeline. We are working to improve the level of service for all our valued Customers.

      I should also mention, my teams email address is We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com

      We love to hear from our Customers

      Frank

      • http://twitter.com/wezlo @wezlo

        Frank how soon til you guys are 1st Tier support?

        I'm sure you're aware that the fact that, (a) we know your name and (b) you're active on social networking makes you a person to folks – rather than a faceless drone reading from a script.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      By the way, I am amazed at Comcast's embrace of social media. How many customer service people Twitter and comment on blogs. This is evidence of the fact that they are listening.

      No, Comcast may not have it all figured out, but they are doing what 99% of organizations are NOT doing—monitoring their brand online.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fogbound fogbound

    Your experience seems to be the norm with all providers. We just moved and my wife spent over three hours on the phone with at&t trying to get her internet connection working. What a frustrating experience and it takes forever to talk to a real person. That is most frustrating. Eventually she got things working, but there was no sense of "WOW" in any of it. That's life in our technological world.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      The sad part is that it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, it is easier to create wow experiences when people's expectations are so low. This field is ripe for someone to come in and make a HUGE difference.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fogbound fogbound

    Your experience seems to be the norm with all providers. We just moved and my wife spent over three hours on the phone with at&t trying to get her internet connection working. What a frustrating experience and it takes forever to talk to a real person. That is most frustrating. Eventually she got things working, but there was no sense of "WOW" in any of it. That's life in our technological world.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      The sad part is that it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, it is easier to create wow experiences when people's expectations are so low. This field is ripe for someone to come in and make a HUGE difference.

  • Mary

    It bothers me that I only get to "Wow" after I get really angry on the Internet. It's like there is a special protocol.

  • Mary

    It bothers me that I only get to "Wow" after I get really angry on the Internet. It's like there is a special protocol.

  • http://wordproverb.blogspot.com/ Sheryl Tuttle

    I wish my experiences with Comcast ended so well. They haven't, although I did get a response to one of my tweets once from ComcastCares. It didn't resolve anything though. I don't ever think "wow" when I think of Comcast, but they do have the fastest internet speeds where I live. Good post, and certainly one where we should all think about how we can not only live up to the expectation of our customers, but surpass those expectations. "Wow" experiences go a long way.

  • http://wordproverb.blogspot.com/ Sheryl Tuttle

    I wish my experiences with Comcast ended so well. They haven't, although I did get a response to one of my tweets once from ComcastCares. It didn't resolve anything though. I don't ever think "wow" when I think of Comcast, but they do have the fastest internet speeds where I live. Good post, and certainly one where we should all think about how we can not only live up to the expectation of our customers, but surpass those expectations. "Wow" experiences go a long way.

  • Gary

    I'm on both sides of the fence on this. I can see how someone can say that "this is damage control" for comcast, but I can also see how it can be classified as a WOW experience becuase someone stepped up to the plate to take care of the issue.

    I've also personally experienced the typical, by the book technician. Most of the time, I just take what I'm dealt and schedule whatever is open. When I'm in a situation to which I really need something taken care of right away, I call back, express my urgentness, and encourage the party on the other line to expedite the problem.

    The point I'm trying to make is this. In my opinion, I think it all boils down to two things: the attitude and the training towards customer service. These technicians deal with the end users every day. Some choose to create WOW experiences while the others just play by the book.

    As an IT professional myself, I believe this is unfortunate for our field. I would hope that any IT technician would want to create a WOW experience for an end user, no matter what.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree: attitude and training are the two keys. The other one I would add is leadership. Whether we have the position or not, we can all exercise influence and make a difference. It all comes down to whether we will chose that course or the path of least resistance.

  • Gary

    I'm on both sides of the fence on this. I can see how someone can say that "this is damage control" for comcast, but I can also see how it can be classified as a WOW experience becuase someone stepped up to the plate to take care of the issue.

    I've also personally experienced the typical, by the book technician. Most of the time, I just take what I'm dealt and schedule whatever is open. When I'm in a situation to which I really need something taken care of right away, I call back, express my urgentness, and encourage the party on the other line to expedite the problem.

    The point I'm trying to make is this. In my opinion, I think it all boils down to two things: the attitude and the training towards customer service. These technicians deal with the end users every day. Some choose to create WOW experiences while the others just play by the book.

    As an IT professional myself, I believe this is unfortunate for our field. I would hope that any IT technician would want to create a WOW experience for an end user, no matter what.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree: attitude and training are the two keys. The other one I would add is leadership. Whether we have the position or not, we can all exercise influence and make a difference. It all comes down to whether we will chose that course or the path of least resistance.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    I love these kinds of success stories. Too often as customers we complain but never comment people when the service is great. If you want to encourage certain behavior, the best way is to acknowledge it and be grateful. As I have said elsewhere, you get more of what you focus on. ;-)

    Thanks again!

    • Joan Null

      This has absolutely nothing to do with internet or customer service, but everything to do with encouraging a certain behavior. I'm babysitting granddaughters today (ages 3, 4 and 5). My tolerance for whiny voices about absolutely everything is just about gone. Your phrase "you get more of what you focus on" makes me realize I'm focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of telling them "stop whining", I need to tell them how much I like hearing them talk in their "big girl voices". Thanks!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

    I love these kinds of success stories. Too often as customers we complain but never comment people when the service is great. If you want to encourage certain behavior, the best way is to acknowledge it and be grateful. As I have said elsewhere, you get more of what you focus on. ;-)

    Thanks again!

    • Joan Null

      This has absolutely nothing to do with internet or customer service, but everything to do with encouraging a certain behavior. I'm babysitting granddaughters today (ages 3, 4 and 5). My tolerance for whiny voices about absolutely everything is just about gone. Your phrase "you get more of what you focus on" makes me realize I'm focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of telling them "stop whining", I need to tell them how much I like hearing them talk in their "big girl voices". Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/JVelthoen @JVelthoen

    I keep hearing how Comcast makes Wow through twitter, meanwhile their subscriber base without twitter suffers. Wow starts with installation, continues through customer service, then through customer retention. We had to wait over a week for my girlfriend to get Comcast to set her up, then the installation guy claimed multiple TV's were impossible. Another week and the next guy asked why it wasn't done when the last guy was there because it was so easy. She still suffers from weird complications. A truly WOW company would make every contact a pleasure.
    That is why I refuse to let Comcast near my house.

  • http://twitter.com/JVelthoen @JVelthoen

    I keep hearing how Comcast makes Wow through twitter, meanwhile their subscriber base without twitter suffers. Wow starts with installation, continues through customer service, then through customer retention. We had to wait over a week for my girlfriend to get Comcast to set her up, then the installation guy claimed multiple TV's were impossible. Another week and the next guy asked why it wasn't done when the last guy was there because it was so easy. She still suffers from weird complications. A truly WOW company would make every contact a pleasure.
    That is why I refuse to let Comcast near my house.

  • http://twitter.com/timgrable @timgrable

    This is an excellent customer service story and quite frankly a great example of WOW. It is also a very good testimony of the power of social media and networking. I do agree that most people are treated like you were on the first call, however, the real lesson is in how two people were able to take charge and solve a problem! If a company can empower their employees to taken ownership like this, they will become know for their customer service.

    Frank & Jeremy hat's off to you for a great job. I wish that everyone at Comcast shared your passion for customer service. Our company is in the process with ATT because we could not get in touch with the Comcast Business here in Nashville.

  • http://twitter.com/timgrable @timgrable

    This is an excellent customer service story and quite frankly a great example of WOW. It is also a very good testimony of the power of social media and networking. I do agree that most people are treated like you were on the first call, however, the real lesson is in how two people were able to take charge and solve a problem! If a company can empower their employees to taken ownership like this, they will become know for their customer service.

    Frank & Jeremy hat's off to you for a great job. I wish that everyone at Comcast shared your passion for customer service. Our company is in the process with ATT because we could not get in touch with the Comcast Business here in Nashville.

  • http://renewalclockc.om/ Mac

    Regardless of who the customer is, how a business handles the situation when things go wrong says a lot about how they operate. Think of the Apple experience, Genius Bar, etc. Things don't come up roses 100% of the time, but they are at least there to help you the best they can long after you made your purchase.

  • http://renewalclockc.om Mac

    Regardless of who the customer is, how a business handles the situation when things go wrong says a lot about how they operate. Think of the Apple experience, Genius Bar, etc. Things don't come up roses 100% of the time, but they are at least there to help you the best they can long after you made your purchase.

  • Bill Whitt

    My experience with Comcast was also a "WOW" experience — as in, "Wow, how could a corporation devalue and disrespect their customers so much and still exist in the marketplace today?" Where I work, we switched from DSL to cable Internet service earlier this year for the speed improvement. Like everyone else, I started by calling 1-800-COMCAST. After navigating a confusing phone tree, being put on hold several times, and being transferred from representative to representative, I was accidentally hung up on after an investment of 40 minutes of my day. Later, I finally got through to the rep who covers our area. But he's only available by phone about two hours per day, so I left him a voicemail. He never called back. I left another voicemail. He finally called me with pricing info and said he would setup an appointment for the install.

    He never followed up, so I called again and left a voicemail again. And again. When he finally did get back with him, almost a week had passed. He said the first available install date would be in 2-3 weeks. Yes, WEEKS! I told him to schedule us in, realizing "better late than never."

    Infuriated, my boss called Comcast himself and apparently navigated the phone tree differently. He spoke to some other department. They said they had plenty of slots available for installs in our area and had not even seen an order come through for our business. Who was this guy I had been talking to all along? What was he doing if he wasn't scheduling us for an install? Anyway, these people DID schedule the install, and that happened relatively quickly and without a hitch.

    So, to sum up my experience, I found Comcast to be a beast of an organization that's so big, its right hand doesn't know what it's left hand is doing. And because this guy wouldn't even return my phone calls or emails, I felt very disrespected as a customer. If I had only tweeted about the experience, I might have gotten something done! But, really, should that have to be the case? Should you have to use @ComcastCares to get good service, or should Comcast just care about everyone from the beginning? Give me a break!

  • Bill Whitt

    My experience with Comcast was also a "WOW" experience — as in, "Wow, how could a corporation devalue and disrespect their customers so much and still exist in the marketplace today?" Where I work, we switched from DSL to cable Internet service earlier this year for the speed improvement. Like everyone else, I started by calling 1-800-COMCAST. After navigating a confusing phone tree, being put on hold several times, and being transferred from representative to representative, I was accidentally hung up on after an investment of 40 minutes of my day. Later, I finally got through to the rep who covers our area. But he's only available by phone about two hours per day, so I left him a voicemail. He never called back. I left another voicemail. He finally called me with pricing info and said he would setup an appointment for the install.

    He never followed up, so I called again and left a voicemail again. And again. When he finally did get back with him, almost a week had passed. He said the first available install date would be in 2-3 weeks. Yes, WEEKS! I told him to schedule us in, realizing "better late than never."

    Infuriated, my boss called Comcast himself and apparently navigated the phone tree differently. He spoke to some other department. They said they had plenty of slots available for installs in our area and had not even seen an order come through for our business. Who was this guy I had been talking to all along? What was he doing if he wasn't scheduling us for an install? Anyway, these people DID schedule the install, and that happened relatively quickly and without a hitch.

    So, to sum up my experience, I found Comcast to be a beast of an organization that's so big, its right hand doesn't know what it's left hand is doing. And because this guy wouldn't even return my phone calls or emails, I felt very disrespected as a customer. If I had only tweeted about the experience, I might have gotten something done! But, really, should that have to be the case? Should you have to use @ComcastCares to get good service, or should Comcast just care about everyone from the beginning? Give me a break!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/BrianTCarroll BrianTCarroll

    While this might be a good argument for the WOW of Twitter, it shouldn't take seven tweets to get the service that should have been provided after the first telephone call. That's why we dumped Comcast for AT&T, and have never looked back.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/BrianTCarroll BrianTCarroll

    While this might be a good argument for the WOW of Twitter, it shouldn't take seven tweets to get the service that should have been provided after the first telephone call. That's why we dumped Comcast for AT&T, and have never looked back.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelmccurry michaelmccurry

    Michael, I thought this really was a terrific post and in fact have shared it with our entire account management team at Experient, my company. You consistently deliver a quality blog product here day in and day out and I just want to show my appreciation for your thought leadership!!!

    Thanks for being my blogging mentor!

    Mike McCurry
    http://twitter.com/michaelmccurry

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelmccurry michaelmccurry

    Michael, I thought this really was a terrific post and in fact have shared it with our entire account management team at Experient, my company. You consistently deliver a quality blog product here day in and day out and I just want to show my appreciation for your thought leadership!!!

    Thanks for being my blogging mentor!

    Mike McCurry
    http://twitter.com/michaelmccurry

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DeYoungJD DeYoungJD

    :-) i'm glad its working for you! I'll let you know as soon as I get my new modem online – can't wait to help you upgrade to the new speeds! its going to be remarkably fast! I'm so stoked!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DeYoungJD DeYoungJD

    :-) i'm glad its working for you! I'll let you know as soon as I get my new modem online – can't wait to help you upgrade to the new speeds! its going to be remarkably fast! I'm so stoked!

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  • http://jeanettefisher.com Jeanette

    Wow! The power of blogging… This is as relevant today as it was when written.

    Comcast listens to @ComcastCares. More companies need to support their Twitter representatives.

  • http://alexspeaks.com Alex Humphrey

    Michael, that is amazing! For me, taking the wow initiative is giving my clients an experience far beyond what they’re expecting. My plan is to build my financial coaching business philosophy so that from the moment I receive that first phone call or email until the day they are in a place they no longer need a coach, they will be blown away by the progression they’ve been able to make and the opportunities presented. I don’t want to be just another coach or a counselor with a different hat. I want to be a friend and leader who directs them into the life they’ve always wanted. And when that goes well I want to refund them completely.

    That’s my wow

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1346029195 Yvonne Green

    The more I learn the more I realize its not the circumstances that are the key factor its the attitude.  Attitude  determines outcome .  As one of my mentors says “Give a Smile get a smile … Give a compliment get a compliment.”  He even goes on to say how His Mother had a saying “People bring you joy either when they come or when they leave.” 

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  • http://todaymade.com/blog Garrett Moon

    Awesome post Michael! I have recently been trying to implement some WOW into how my company does business. Just the other day we ordered a huge box on thank you cards and are already sending them out like crazy. Simple, I know, but our cards are sincere and funny. It is already amazing to hear the reactions. Wow experiences work! 

  • http://twitter.com/jacktx42 jacktx42

    It’s great there’s something in place to catch the bad stuff.

    My problem/question is: Why does everything except the last ditch effort to save the account have to be so fraught with incompetence and incivility, that your experience has to be horrible and gut-churning, and it makes you want to pull out your left kidney just to ease the pain of dealing with them?

    It seems in these times so many companies focus on how to extract money from its customers rather than working to effectively provide the service for which they are being paid.

  • http://donkily.com/ Scott Reyes

    I agree with this completely. One of my company’s biggest accounts came from the way that we took care of our mistake when we were only doing a little bit of business. Most of the training that I do with my account managers revolves around handling a customer issues even though they are few and far between.

  • http://twitter.com/theworld4realz Andi-Roo

    How
    many times have we heard it said, “The customer is always right!”?
    It seems we accept this as fact and have decided it’s a completely
    valid way to run a business.

    Except
    when the customer isn’t right — which is a lot more often than it
    used to be, back when the world was flat and customer bases were
    limited to the farm next door which might happen to be like 100 miles
    away or whatever. 

    If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, the rest of this article is posted here: http://www.theworld4realz.com/2012/02/12/the-customer-is-not-always-right/

  • http://ignitechange.net/ Craig Morton

    Hi Michael.  So much of customer service is not set up to help, but rather simply take complaints for those that are higher up.  Those on the phones, like you said, “play by the books” and are forced to simply act like robots in their actions and their corporate dialogues. It’s almost tragic that humans have been reduced to not being allowed to problem solve in that job.   Glad you got it fixed :)

  • http://twitter.com/engagementindex EngagementIndex

    thanks for sharing your experience.. 5 years ago if someone had a bad customer experience they told 5 people, now then can tell 5 million people.. Social media and in particular Twitter is a game changer for businesses. It means as customers / consumers we can bring them to account for their shoddy customer care.

    It also  means that businesses have a huge opportunity to deal with things, get them right and as a result create loyal brand advocates. Thats the point. Twitter is another channel for them to deal with customers.

    With all that in mind, and in wanting to help raise the corporate customer care bar, we recently launched engagementIndex. The 1st customer care score for Twitter. We have already published scores on UK Supermarkets, Utilities, Mobile Operators and banks, with plenty more to follow…

    You can see these scores at http://www.engagementIndex.co.uk

    thanks

    Mark Shaw
    @engagementIndex:twitter 

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  • Lang

    Dealing with Comcast is a dreadful experience. I’ve dealt with the @89499117a54e8c5d5ea1b3ff098ebcb0:disqus folks before, and it only adds a layer to the bureaucracy. You’re still stuck with the same useless phone reps. In fact, Michael’s post was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone actively promote satisfaction with the Comcast customer service system, with its labyrinth auto-phone tree, dead ends, and unknowledgeable reps. I was shocked to hear anyone praise the Comcast experience. I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that Michael got special treatment due to the fact that he sits on a huge stage with a big microphone. The audience stats are right there in plain view his Twitter profile where the whole thing started. Having said that, I get Michael’s point — the point of his post wasn’t to praise or suggest that his experience was a normal experience with Comcast, nor does it matter whether he got special treatment. The point is what’s possible with customer service. And while I hope that Comcast learned the same lesson, I highly doubt it based on my experience. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • W.K.

    I love hearing stories like this. There is a great small book called “The How of Wow” that talks about wowing your customers. They have several other inspiring customer service books too but that is one of my favorites. http://servicewithasmileblog.com/

  • Micki

    I so agree with your analysis of the situation. I did a blog post as well on good and bad customer experience, “One Simple Action That Can Dramatically Increase Your Customer Base”, http://www.lakeviewconsulting.net

  • Hugh O’Donnell

    Mark Hurst, who is located in NY, runs a wonderful company devoted to including the customer, i.e., “customer experience,” called Creative Good. Check him out. His books and soon-to-be-updated GoodToDo app, as well as his services are things you might like to be aware of.

    Love this blog!

    Best,

    Hugh