Three years after the “Ryan Block call” embarrassed Comcast, the company said it’s increased its Net Promoter Score by a “double-digit” percentage.
Comcast said it actually began using the Net Promoter scoring system, which measures customer loyalty and satisfaction, shortly before the July 2014 phone call that was recorded by customer Block, who banged his head on the wall for over 10 minutes with a Comcast representative who obstreperously refused to indulge his service cancellation requests.
In the spring of 2015, Comcast unveiled an ambitious $300 million plan to retrain its customer service staff and hire more than 5,000 new reps.
Comcast scored poorly on a survey of telecom companies published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index over the spring. But the steady stream of viral calamities that proceeded and followed the Block call have seemingly abated. And Comcast, speaking earlier this week to the Denver Post, insisted it’s making progress.
“Transformations are hard. I don’t want you to get the sense that this has all been easy,” said Dana Crandall, VP for customer experience for Comcast’s West Division, which includes Colorado, to the Post. “It’s been an evolution.
“We’ve reoriented the company and employees in thinking and measuring through a customer’s eyes,” Crandall added.
With phone calls to help centers down 11 million annually, Comcast might indeed be making progress. But it takes time to shed the weight of a bad reputation. And fairly or unfairly, elements out of the cable operator’s control—such as rapidly increasing prices for pay TV programming—tend to stick to its hips.
“Companies that excel in satisfying customers can more easily get away with price increases without sapping too much customer satisfaction because they have built up a lot of goodwill with their customer base,” said David VanAmburg, director of The American Customer Satisfaction Index, to the Post.