About five years ago, Comcast was featured in a slew of home-made YouTube videos of field service representatives literally falling asleep while on-hold for back-line customer service.
What’s happened since then? Well, the once-victim of social media is now a leader in how organizations can leverage social media to improve not only customer service, but their overall business. In 2008 they launched the @ComcastCares initiative under the leadership of Director of Digital Care Frank Eliason, profiled in this BusinessWeek story. In mid-2010, Eliason moved on to become SVP of Social Media at Citibank but @ComcastCares lives on and has grown under new leadership.
In this post, How Social Customer Service is Changing the Culture at Comcast, social media guru and author Brian Solis talks with Kip Wetzel, Senior Director of Social Media Servicing and Strategy at Comcast about the initiative today and its impact on the business.
Some key quotes and tidbits:
- Most people feel that large companies “speak at” consumers. We have the ability to “speak with” consumers and to let them know that their voice is heard.
- Comcast does not use social media as a way to push customers into traditional channels. You need both. The situation should dictate which method is most appropriate and you need integration: you can’t fix a line downed by a tree over Twitter.
- Let people see one company; don’t show them silos or divisions.
- You can scale your social media department to 100 people, but if you don’t fix the problems internally, you’ll never have enough.
- We can use Twitter as well as proactive traps and alarms to quickly identify faults and problems.
- There isn’t a social media team — it’s an extension of product, marketing, PR, care … we can evaluate what people are saying, take that feedback, see the impact on the different organizations at Comcast and adapt.
- Social is a catalyst for internal conversation … how does a theme evolving about a product or service influence the different organizations, and how do we collectively evaluate those things and put our real change a day later, a week later.
- Social is not just about reacting, listening, or responding, it’s about building better products, services, and processes that allow you to lead the customer experience.
Here is a direct link to the video interview.