I’ve worked in customer service for more than 20 years – the last 10 of which have been at Comcast where I’ve managed call-center teams around the country. I’ve gotten to meet and speak with many of our Customer Service employees and one thing is crystal clear: if your employees are happy then your customers are more likely to be happy. And by happy employees, I mean employees who feel engaged, empowered and have a sense of direction in their careers.
You may have read in earlier posts about how we’ve met with employees and customers and used their feedback as the basis for some significant operational changes, like new tools, processes and programs. While those operational changes are a very important part of the equation, developing the people who use them to serve our customers is equally as important. That’s why I was thrilled when Comcast recently asked me to lead a new team focused on helping our Customer Service reps and supervisors grow and develop.
In my new role as head of Human Performance for National Customer Operations, we’re looking at making the kinds of improvements our employees have told us would be most meaningful for them in their interactions with customers. For example, growth and development plans. As strange as it may seem, the customer service industry in general isn’t typically recognized for creating career paths. That’s changing at Comcast as we’ve begun using specialized career-path programs with our Customer Service reps that provide them with training and development and require them to meet more challenging performance levels in order to advance. And these levels are based on factors that matter to our customers, like knowledge of our services, efficient handling of issues, and consistently high-quality work.
We’re also making some basic changes, like introducing new Supervisor Development Programs and reducing supervisor-to-employee ratios to improve coaching opportunities. And we’re standardizing many internal policies and procedures so that all our employees know what we expect of them, and have the resources necessary to do their jobs and do them well whether they’re here in Philadelphia or across the country in San Francisco.
We are placing a huge emphasis in the Human Performance area because I truly believe that our customers’ experience will be enhanced. As I said above, my mantra is happy employees = happy customers. I look forward to being able to share more with you as our work progresses.