As a customer, when do you really feel a company is listening?

Courtesy of

“Speak into the phone and let me know why you’re calling today.”

“It sounds like you’re calling about tech support.”

“Most problems can be solved in just one phone call by resetting your modem.”

“Press 1 to reset your modem”

“Please wait 30 seconds for your modem to turn off and on again.”

“If you see all of the lights flashing, please try to visit a site on the Internet.”

“Are you able to browse a web site? Press 1 for Yes, and 2 for No.”

If this exchange sounds familiar to you, you might have recently called Comcast.

I heard this the other day when I replaced my existing seven year old cable modem with a new cable modem. I purchased the modem because I don’t like paying $9/month in perpetuity for a device that costs $99 (excellent profit margin, Comcast).

The reason I purchased the modem is why I’m writing this post. On February 17, Comcast emailed me to let me know my old equipment was obsolete and I should consider buying new equipment to take advantage of the faster Internet speeds in my area. Awesome. AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE. I love the fact that Comcast contacted me, let me know exactly what to do, and provided a benefit. I even went onto their website to confirm that they knew which equipment was using, and immediately purchased a new cable modem from Amazon.

The modem arrived, and I was ready to begin. Easy, right? I should be able to unplug the old modem from the coaxial cable, plug the new one in, go to a browser, and let Comcast know the details of my new modem. They know my address, my equipment, the account number, and everything.

Nope. I needed to call them to ask them to register my modem.

There are many reasons Comcast probably wanted to talk to me: verify my account, make sure I hadn’t moved, possibly try to upsell me on phone service I don’t need or want, or some other silly reason. But they failed to close the loop on the message they sent me – which was to prompt me to spend a little money and improve my service.

There is a huge missed opportunity here – as a long time Comcast customer (and frequent tweeter to @ComcastCares) – I might have sung their praises. BIG CABLE COMPANY SHOWS HEART AND ASKS CUSTOMER TO UPGRADE TO BETTER SERVICE VOLUNTARILY could have been the headline. And instead I’m asking the question, “why didn’t their left hand know what the right hand was doing?”

There are a few simple reasons this didn’t happen.

  1. Unified customer data would have made it easier for Comcast to know that they had prompted me to upgrade my equipment, and might have even made it possible for a dedicated team to text or call me to follow up with a new 2 year offer.
  2. Intelligent customer insights might have alerted Comcast to the fact that it had been several weeks since they had emailed me and triggered a follow up offer in another contact channel (they used an email I don’t check very often to email me – see point 1 above.)
  3. Finally, collaboration tools (and a smarter phone tree) would have made it easier for Comcast to identify what I was trying to do and put me into a dedicated queue for equipment installs instead of delivering me to a universal representative.

The story ends with me having faster service, a new modem, and no more loyalty to Comcast. They missed an opportunity to demonstrate how well one of their systems was listening.


One thought on “As a customer, when do you really feel a company is listening?

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  1. I recently had an experience with a piece of hardware that went haywire. After contacting the company’s help desk and getting a response that didn’t solve my problem, I contacted them again via email and also tweeted at them publicly sharing my disappointment in the product and that I was once a loyal and happy customer and now I am nothing but frustrated and ready to throw the piece of hardware in the trash. They responded quickly and professionally to replace my faulty hardware; it proved to me that they just want me to be happy as a customer and didn’t feel the need to dig in and ask me tons of questions about what the issue was or if it was potentially user error. This quick resolution made me feel relieved and I’m very happy about it. I am now back on the happy customer path.

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