Two years ago, we had to migrate our broadband service in a very short time. We ran into some real service issues when we were forced to rush the process. Customers were temporarily experiencing access, speed and email problems.
We decided to confront the problem head-on. Of course, all of our dedicated people who had any technical expertise worked day and night to fix the problems. But we also did other things. We taped some 30-second spots explaining the problems, telling customers what we were doing about it and, of course, apologizing. We recorded outbound telephone messages and sent emails and letters. We also increased our inbound call handling capacity as quickly as we could.
And we went on the blogs.
It was there that we found the silver lining surrounding a really awful experience. Some of what we saw wasn't pretty but it certainly was enlightening and ultimately very helpful. We discovered that we could learn a lot from the people who were posting their online experiences -- good and bad. In particular, I personally began monitoring Broadband Reports, a site with at least a zillion members who know and talk a lot about broadband Internet services. And our product, customer care and technical folks began monitoring the blogs too.
Our migration problems came to an end but our focus on the blog world didn't. We institutionalized monitoring the blogs and now regularly reach out to customers who post if we think we can help them with their issue. Indeed, we often discuss service changes and improvements that were thought of simply by reading blogs.
Indeed, I recently read (on a blog, of course) that Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator now has a group of people who monitor the blogs and reach out to customers. That's an absolutely terrific use of resources! Our experience proves to us how important that is for our business. We know we have dramatically improved our customer ratings of our broadband service since we began monitoring and learning from the blogs.
To tell you the truth, nowadays, I wake up in the morning and I'm on BBR and some other blogs even before I open the New York Times.
Who said they can't teach an old dog new tricks?