In a recent BusinessWeek post, it is happily declared that "Cox is a cable company that people don't hate!" Since you probably now know that I am wont to get on my soap-box at any mention of terrible customer service, this article came as a breath of fresh air in an industry that is, unfortunately, known for it's annoyingly bad customer service. In fact, a variety of metrics, from network performance and reliability to billing and cost, customers in several regions describe Cox as their preferred provider.
So, how does Cox accomplish the impossible? Well, the article reports that Cox uses only one customer-care provider, with multiple call centers located across the US. In addition, rather than pushing call-center reps to get customers off the phone as quickly as possible, Cox tries to handle care issues on a single call. Not only that, the reps get graded on how well they eliminate problems, as opposed to how quickly they can get rid of the customer.
Furthermore, and this really brings tears to my eyes, Cox seems to hold true to an tenet near and dear to all of us direct marketers -- customer data integration. At Cox, rather than having separate databases for care reps and field technicians, these groups actually utilize the same database so that the customer does not have to tell their story multiple times as they are transfered from one department to the other. There is no transferring and no repeating of oneself. Incredible!
Finally, in a true testament to going over and above the call of duty, Cox has even started a "geek squad" to help customers with technical issues, whether they involve Cox's gear or not. I think we all know that this is virtually unheard of in any industry. This additional group alleviates all of the finger pointing that normally goes on when trying to trouble-shoot an issue with your telecommunications service.
This is some very impressive stuff. Here's hoping that the rest of the industry will see how Cox is winning away customers and jump on this excellence-in-customer-care bandwagon. Congratulations Cox -- on a job well done!