You may be sick of reading about Comcast on this blog, and I guess I don’t blame you. But the point I am trying to make is that when a company, such as Comcast, constantly has a poor reputation for customer relations, it is not the result of marketplace competition. It is, in fact, because of self-inflicted wounds.
In Comcast’s case, it is a defensive and inwardly-focused culture that inhibits building positive relationships and transparent conversations with customers. To borrow an often-used phrase, it is an analog corporate culture in a digital world. Comcast exclusively creates its own external problems that injury the company’s reputation, starting with its Web sites and lack of an interactive blog.
Customers hate Comcast because it consumes hours and hours simply to get the company to fix simple issues. Additionally, it’s so darn hard to find anyone at Comcast with the authority or competence to fix anything. Simple as that.
I would like nothing better than to see Comcast change, and here’s why – the company’s Internet and cable TV service is pretty good, other than the fact that Comcast has banned the outstanding HDNet network channels (more about that in a later posting).
The formula for improving Comcast’s reputation is neither difficult nor time-consuming nor expensive to achieve. The company could see quantifiable improvements within a few months that would result in favorable buzz and glowing reviews among customers, the media and stake-holders.
While I know the formula, I will not give it away here because such consulting is what I do for a living. Yet, the essential elements include openness, transparency and becoming more ethical. Comcast might begin by studying the terrific examples of Apple and Zappos.