Developing a Learning Culture

There’s Always Next Year Comcast (How Can eLearning Fix Bad Customer Service)

The latest numbers from Temkin Ratings are in, and it doesn’t look great for Comcast. Out of the 293 companies that were included in the customer service ratings poll, Comcast TV service ranked 291st, and Comcast Internet service squeaked by at 289th.

But here’s the thing: When it comes to customer service, TV and internet service providers are consistently ranked the lowest for experience and satisfaction—even worse than airlines and insurance companies, which rank third and fourth for disappointing industry-wide customer service. So what’s the deal? Are consumers just doomed to wait on hold and receive bad service?

We hope not. And, were insurance companies, airlines, and TV and Internet service providers willing to address the main pain points affecting customers via eLearning, they could be on their way up the ratings scale.

Customer Service Poison

There are a few theories as to why internet, insurance, and airlines are the worst for customer satisfaction. And usually, when you’re on the phone with someone who can’t (or won’t) help you with a problem, your own theories are anything from incompetency to conspiracy.

But we think it boils down to two key problems in the industries: First, a lack of organization-wide training programs. When each call center is trained and managed by a different team, you could either end up on the phone with the best customer service agent you’ve ever talked to or someone who seems like they’ve never even actually used a phone before.

The second issue is sheer complacency. Customer service agents in these industries aren’t pushed to be better at their jobs, and finally accept the fact that customer dissatisfaction is simply collateral damage for punching their time cards.

eLearning to the Top

In order to rehab almost laughably bad customer service experience in these industries, it would take a drastic shift in the way Comcast, TimeWarner Cable, Spirit Airlines, and Coventry Health Care (all in the 290s for customer satisfaction) think of onboarding, training, and rewarding their customer service agents.

By adopting a blended approach to training, organizations with traditionally poor customer service rankings could give agents a one-two punch in how to ensure a better experience. By using a face-to-face or mentoring approach, agents could learn the right way to interact with customers from in-house managers.

Pair that approach with customer service simulations—in which agents could practice interacting with customers in a simulated scenario before putting their skills to work—and even game-based learning apps that allow agents to test their knowledge and level up, and you’ve got a recipe for an organization-wide attitude adjustment.

By certifying (and rewarding) those agents who are willing to improve their skills and undergo intensive customer service training, even the worst industries for customer experience could help motivate agents and employees to do much more than just the bare minimum. By increasing training efforts, recognizing effort, and rewarding results for employees, customers are the real winners in the race for the top of the polls.