SF: In the recent CableFAX and The Cable Center Customer Experience Management Guidebook, Scott Wise and I wrote about how the Cox culture stays focused, top to bottom, on serving our customers. This doesn’t just happen magically. Although the foundation for this culture was laid years ago, the company continues to refresh and reinforce the message through communication, training and feedback at all levels of the organization. Policies, products and processes change, but the quality and talent of our people and their commitment to our customers don’t. This really is the “secret sauce.”
The Cable Center Customer Care Committee (C5) might be cable’s least-known entity. Under the auspices of The Cable Center its members—the top 11 MSOs and European operator UPC—meet twice yearly, take monthly conference calls and participate in periodic Webinars where they hear from academics and experts inside and outside cable.
In May our honoree, Suzanne Foy, finished her two-year tenure as C5 Co-chair. “Her insights on innovation in customer care and her willingness to share her knowledge with C5 care executives have been invaluable,” says The Cable Center SVP Jana Henthorn. “When Suzanne talks, everyone listens.” Foy took us inside C5, discussing hot issues and its industry benefits. She also spoke about Cox’s customer care prowess.
CableFAX: How does C5 benefit cable?
SF: The small size of this group lends itself to very honest discussions of what is and isn’t working. While each MSO has a unique culture and style, none of us wants to reinvent the wheel. The experience of one or two MSOs in any given area helps all of us refine our strategies and absorb lessons quicker. It’s an incredible network of industry care expertise. With C5, we can work faster and smarter.
CableFAX: What are the hot topics at C5 meetings?
SF: Consistently, we hit the big three: our customers, our people, and our metrics/financials. Recently, the challenge of supporting converged products, such as voicemail to the TV or TV via the Internet, is heating up. Most of our organizations and customers think of problems by product. Blurring that line influences everything from call routing to employee skills to trouble reporting. Also hot are Millennials—how to serve them as customers and how to engage them as employees; this is the biggest generational shift since the baby boom and we’re all feeling it. And we’re always trying to figure out the right metrics to gauge our influence on customer loyalty and how to use these to influence our organizations.
CableFAX: What are Cox’s toughest hurdles in customer care/customer experience management?
SF: Understanding customer service expectations at the individual level and delivering an experience that shows customers we’re serving them in a personal way. This is huge. Doing it well –effectively and efficiently– requires that we bring together resources from across functions, from Marketing Science to Sales to Care, Field Service and Web. It also demands we take a fresh look at how we work across markets. Particularly in call centers, where geography is more transparent, how do we leverage Cox talent across the country to meet specialized customer needs? And how do we connect these virtual teams seamlessly with local Field Service and Retail?
CableFAX: What’s behind Cox’s formidable record of J.D. Power honors?