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Comcast is trying something unheard of: Being ‘focused on the customer’ and ‘doing what’s right’

Published May 6th, 2015 12:25PM EDT
Comcast Customer Service Improvement Initiative

Why has Comcast’s customer service been so traditionally bad? Largely because it hasn’t faced any negative repercussions for it. After all, in many markets Comcast is the only game in town for broadband services, which means that angry customers don’t have anywhere else to go if they aren’t satisfied. However, the rise of cord cutting and online TV streaming services means that Comcast suddenly finds itself in competition with Netflix and other tech companies for users’ monthly TV subscription fees. This means Comcast actually has to (Gasp!) compete for consumers’ hearts and minds for the first time.

RELATED: Comcast’s Facebook fan page is filled with nothing but angry haters

With this in mind, Comcast this week has announced a new initiative aimed at drastically improving the Comcast customer service experience. This will involve adding 5,500 customer service jobs and placing a new emphasis on serving customers, a concept that’s unheard of for Comcast customer service.

“This transformation is about shifting our mindset to be completely focused on the customer,” explains Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit. “It’s about respecting their time, being more proactive, doing what’s right, and never being satisfied with good enough. We’re on a mission and everyone is committed to making this happen.”

The trouble here is that this will not be an overnight fix. As we’ve seen from the multiple horror stories that have gone viral over the past couple of years, Comcast’s customer service infrastructure is badly broken. And by “badly broken,” we mean that customers have to record every interaction they have with representatives just to keep track of all the completely contradictory things they get told.

When infrastructure is this terrible, shaping it up will be a lengthy process. For one thing, Comcast actually needs to educate its customer service staff about what the company’s policies and offers are so they don’t tell customers completely different information on a regular basis.

If you want to read more about Comcast’s attempted image makeover, read the company’s whole post here.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.