Charter Tries to Defend Gutting Social Media Team
Phone Hold Queues More 'Personal and Consistent'
Yesterday we exclusively reported
that Charter Communications was quietly gutting all of their social media support operations, informing those employees that they could either take a job with phone support, or leave the company entirely. It's an unfortunate move for Charter customers, given that like many ISPs, the use of Twitter to directly correspond with frustrated customer helped users break through bureaucratic gridlock, while giving a human face to the company.
In a statement e-mailed to cable industry trade magazines
, Charter's Anita Lamont (who did not respond to a phone call for comment yesterday) is justifying the move as an attempt to be more "personal, effective and consistent":
"We believe speaking directly with a customer is a more personal, effective and consistent way to answer questions, solve an issue or provide information, and we will focus our efforts on these means of communications," Lamont said. "We’re committed to treating our customers with great care, and we believe that person-to-person interaction accomplishes that in a more meaningful way for more of our customers."
It doesn't appear that Lamont understands what the UMatter2Charter team actually did
, since personal communication on Twitter was a huge portion of their daily work. While Charter's number crunchers likely just compared team cost versus the volume of customers handled, it would be impossible to calculate the positive impact the team had on the Charter brand.
Charter consistently fares poorly on customer satisfaction rankings because consumers aren't happy with their existing support services. Eliminating a group focused on finally trying to fix that seems myopic and short sighted.
Even if they weren't doing so in volume, the UMatter2Charter team was helping angry and frustrated customers by providing a helpful, human point of contact that was able to break through normal support gridlock, giving those users a positive brand experience.
How much is that worth? Apparently not much to Charter.
| |danawhitakerSpace...The Final FrontierPremium
Re: I have a feeling... By that logic though, most companies should let their entire workforce go (i.e. many people today spend time in the workplace responding to personal e-mails and social networking stuff). I don't know many people today who don't to some degree - I see it frequently with e-mails I get from parents at my daughter's school about various school activities and events and classroom parties.
I'm not a Charter customer, but I'm a frequent user of cable company Mediacom's social networking team, including someone right here on BBR. I have always gotten a better response time and better customer service than I've ever gotten on the phone, and I'm thankful to have access to such a great team of people. It is the epitome of personal service.
What it feels like they're doing is taking away an outlet for more technical users. What I love about having access to someone on BBR or Twitter is that the phone people always try to pigeonhole you and take you through X number of useless steps to solve a problem - even though for many of us who frequent a site like this and reach out using social media, those are steps that we have already tried on our end. Jumping through the same hoops for someone on the phone is frustrating. I remember back when I still had Qwest especially, and there were terrible problems with my line that were outside the house, a call would go like this, "Hi, I'm having X happen...and I've tried A, B, C, and D already, so I know it's not any of those things" - and I'd be lucky if they'd listen and be willing to bypass me trying all those basic steps that the less technical users wouldn't have thought to try.
You're watching Sports Night on CSC so stick around...
said by NeoandGeo:You will probably have to make do with the "script reading" 1st line phone support people who are mostly useless unless it is an area wide outage affecting everyone. If you have a problem limited to your residence, don't expect a fix. All they will do is put you in the queue for a dispatch to your house.
Would this eventually affect the Charter support that is teamed up with this site? From my experience the personal support I got here was leagues better than phone support.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.
| |nightshade74Yet another genxerPremium
said by TBBroadband:They were purchased by Wide Open West (WOW).
Didn't Knology become someone else?
They still are d/b/a Knology (at least here)...
I imagine one day (soon -- later -- etc) they'll adopt
the WOW moniker.
I'm just thankful to have a choice of cable providers...
| |nightshade74Yet another genxerPremium
said by pdubya:They have no clue. The cable cards are a good example. I think it took five visits and an FCC complaint to get one activated.
I hope that Charter management realizes that they are making a mistake and that the few extra dollars that they spend on this team goes a long way with customers like me.
The next one was just done by the good people in the direct forum.
How many service calls do they save? How many complaints do they prevent? How many (geeky) decision makers do they make happy?
As per usual management hasnt a clue.
Re: Clearly Charter... Anyone under 50 years old prefers chat, social media, email, etc over waiting on hold forever to talk to some slob who knows nothing. I would much rather fire off a message in the Direct forum or Twitter and go about my life, and wait for a response. Waiting on hold forever to get someone who cannot help at all is so 1990's.
For a company who supposedly knows technology, they have a bunch of old fart bean counters who are taking the company backwards and making dumb decisions.
Re: Clearly Charter... I'll be honest here...I have NEVER had a problem solved using phone support except reactivating a modem or paying my bill. The script readers are useless in any real technical issues and I end up wasting a half hour or more being asked the same questions over and over again. Ok, let's start by turning your computer and modem off for a minute...... Ok, turn your computer back on...turn your modem back on... wait for it to light up... is your internet working now? Are you sure it's not your computer? Are you sure it's not your internet browser? Do you have another computer you can test from? Ok, let me run a few tests.....I'm sorry, I don't see anything wrong....(got told this one time with the modem completely unsynced)... ok, looks like we are going to have to schedule a tech to come out...three tech visits later the problem is still going on....guess we will have to send out a senior tech...ok, two more techs, another senior tech... oh, hey...maybe it has something to do with the wire up the road that got chopped into three weeks ago....yeah, we will fix that sooner or later but if the problem is still there in a week call back. A week later I call back and have to start the whole thing over again.
And you think the social media folks aren't worth keeping around? There is a record of everything done, the same person deals with it from start to finish and I get things fixed in days, not months.
If Charter wants to save money FIRE THE CEO.