We admittedly get excited about new acronyms, and the SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies is a great place to hear about some good ones, such as TISPAN, V-DOC (video delivery over DOCSIS), and STUN and TURN (both NAT traversal related). But it’s entirely possible to carry this too far in the direction of the consumer, as this letter suggests: Sir, My first job was waiting tables at a restaurant, and one of the dishes we served with "Chicken and Broccoli Fettuccini Alfredo." That’s really a lot of words, so on our ticketing system we shortened it to "ChicBrocFett." I remember many confused customer looks when servers would bring the food to the table and ask, "Who had the ChicBrocFett?" The cable industry’s menu of products and services has grown to include so many items – video on demand, high definition receivers, voice over Internet Protocol modems – and they all have their accompanying acronyms. While this helps us internally to describe our products quickly and efficiently, most of the acronyms have no meaning for our customers. I see a familiar look of confusion when subscribers are told, "I’m here to fix your VOD, HD, or VoIP." We should stress to our techs to try and avoid using these shortcuts when they make contact with our subscribers. Help your techs by always knowing what the various acronyms stand for. In your initial training for a new product, try to use the actual meanings to the technicians. This will help you and your customers understand our new products. This small step can turn a good customer contact into a great one. James Messer
Jacksonville, Florida

The Daily


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