Comcast Will Fix Terrible Customer Service, In "a Few Years," At Least

When you think of Comcast, you probably think of a lot of things. Some Xfinity On-Demand streaming with a side of near-monopolistic control over the market, perhaps? But there's one thing you definitely don't think: "Something's wrong with my cable? No worries, it'll be a blast getting Comcast out here to fix it!" Well, Comcast is aware their customers aren't quite feeling it, and they're saying they'll change — eventually, at least. Basically, Comcast has promised to fix their terrible customer service, though they also admitted it could take "a few years" to get the job done. In other words, cold comfort when the picture cuts out next Wednesday.

There's a newly promoted executive tasked with this job, according to ArsTechnica — Charlie Herrin, a longtime Comcast higher-up who's been moved into the role of "senior VP of customer experience." That's a slightly euphemistic way to say "senior VP of keeping people from yelling into their phones at robots," but hey, could be a decent start.

The announcement was made by Neil Smit, the CEO of the company's cable division. While he stated that employees had been working hard in recent years to improve the customer service, he acknowledged there was a ways to go.

In this new role, Charlie will partner with leaders across all business units, including customer service, technical operations, sales, marketing, training and development, and product innovation to reimagine the customer experience and ensure that we are delighting our customers at each touch point. Charlie will listen to feedback from customers as well as our employees to make sure we are putting our customers at the center of every decision we make.

Honestly, while I can only speak for myself as a Comcast customer of ten years or so (you don't have much choice besides satellite service here in the Bay Area), I'm not really looking for my cable company to "delight" me at every "touch point." That's probably overcompensating a little. I'd settle for a service appointment window specific enough that I won't have to worry about missing it if I use the bathroom, for example. Or, just tighten up how quickly and easily I can report when the cable randomly cuts out now and then — the 2010 World Series was a particularly memorable example.

Smit insists that customer service is going to be the top priority from here on out, though it could still be a while.

Transformation isn’t going to happen overnight. In fact, it may take a few years before we can honestly say that a great customer experience is something we’re known for. But that is our goal and our number one priority … and that’s what we are going to do.

To be clear, I'd probably put cable quality as the number-one priority, and customer service as the number-two. Seriously, nobody's really looking for friendship when they have to call up their cable company — just a quick, get-it-done experience, hopefully with less than 20 minutes spent waiting on hold. Does that sound possible?

Images: Comcast