Cable companies and telcos are infamous for their bad customer service, with poorly trained call center operatives who force you to go through a useless script and have incentives to simply get you off the phone as quickly as possible. It looks like at least one cable company has realized this isn't very good for business. Just as people are recognizing that good customer service tends to be reflected in a company's stock price, BusinessWeek is running an article about how Cox actually wants its customers to be happy with their service (via Broadband Reports). Of course, as Broadband Reports notes, Cox has a very low bar to hurdle to be better at customer service than others in the market. Still, it's a sign of the times that this should even be newsworthy, but too many companies still think of customer service as a cost center. To decrease immediate costs, they focus on metrics like average call time, and focus on making those calls shorter. Cox, at least, recognizes how silly this. It just leads to increased customer dissatisfaction, more inbound calls (even if they're shorter) and probably more technical resources wasted trying to fix problems that could have been fixed earlier. Instead, they reward customer service people based on actually fixing problems and allow both customer service and technical support people to access the same information. That last point, again, seems like an obvious one, but for anyone who's been passed around a phone tree because the tech support person doesn't have access to the customer support info and vice versa, you'll recognize how uncommon it appears to be. Finally, Cox will helps customers with problems that don't even originate on Cox equipment -- which is great for customers who are sick of the "blame game" where telcos and cablecos simply blame others (Microsoft, you, your router company, etc.) for any problems you're facing.
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