Happy Comcast Employees Make Customers Happier

Want to know the secret to Comcast’s success? No, it’s not high rates, poor service or random porn broadcasts. It’s much more basic: The company’s employees just love working there, and want to share their love with customers. Yay!

According to The Boston Globe, Comcast has:

…a corporate philosophy that aims to have even its subscribers love the cable giant as much as workers do. The underlying principle is simple: Happy employees make happy customers. “Everything is delivered through our employees,” said Stephen L. Hackley, senior vice president for the Greater Boston region. “If employees are satisfied and happy, it comes through on the phones, it comes through in the field. They are the difference makers.”

Some of those cheerful “difference makers” gushed to the Globe about their great jobs — and about how great it is to be serving those happy customers. “I have more freedom and more responsibility, and as long as I don’t make any mistakes, no one is on my back,” said James Mendes, a field technician. “I’m allowed to fix all the problems and make the customer happy. I’ve never been happier.”

The Globe recently named Comcast, which has 4,000 employees in Massachusetts, the top place to work in the state. The cable giant beat out employers like Harmonix Music, which makes a little game called Rock Band, and Google, which gives all employees FREE FOOD — because of little things like a 401k match, flexible shifts, and policies that encourage them to become “discerning consumer advocates.” We assume the free porn and comfy customer couches are just icing on the happy, happy cake.

A cable company that listens [The Boston Globe]

(Photo: Eli Hodapp)

(Thanks, Jimmy!)

Comments

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  1. bornonbord says:

    Clearly the folks at the Boston Globe are saying all of this in Jest, as their jobs are all on the line – ya know, writing for a dying medium and all.

    [www.techcrunch.com]

    [www.boston.com]

    • fxsoap says:

      @bornonbord: agree. they usually don’t pay attention when you tell them things. “i want to cancel CABLE TV AND KEEP MY CABLE INTERNET” and then you find out they put in an order to cancel both. gg

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Are you sure this wasn’t written by the Onion along with the ad for the Ford Taurus? Really? I assure you no Comcast employee happiness has bled over to my side of the phone conversation as they explain why they double billed me.

  3. FatLynn says:

    Those “Best Place to Work” articles are pretty bogus, IMO, as random perks have very little to do with job satisfaction.

    • XTC46 says:

      @FatLynn: Actually, random perks have a lot to do with job satisfaction. I am a system administrator, so I can get a job in pretty much any state, in any city (assuming they arent ghost towns), etc with little problem. My pay will fluctuate by area, but it will still be decent pay with a few exceptions. And for the most part, the job is going to be very similar.

      At my first sys admin job, it was very straight forward, I was in from 8-5 + on call 24/7. I had average pay, average co workers, etc. Not a bad job at all. Eventually the co workers started to suck and I got bored, so i left. My last job, same type of work, only I had a much more flexible schedule, slightly better pay, better vacation, and had a much bigger budget to play with. So I had a slightly better job satisfaction.

      In my current job, my schedule isnt as flexible, I dont have as good of vacation, but my overall pay is better. The kicker is this enviroment is a lot more fun to work in.

      We have a pool table, big screen tv, xbox 360, massage chair, we have beer in the fridge, arcade games, the bosses take us out to lunch once in a while, etc. So I work just as hard (harder actually) and am much happier becasue of all the little things the company does. Becasue the company treats us so well, im willing to put in longer hours when needed with no complaints, etc.

      • FatLynn says:

        @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: The HR studies show this not to be the case. Obviously your personal experience has been different, but most people are concerned with things like “feeling their contributions are recognized” and “fitting in”.

        • XTC46 says:

          @FatLynn: not sure about anyone else..but I think a company that has all kinds of a great perks is doing a great job of showing their appreciation of my work.

        • pb5000 says:

          @FatLynn: I view HR surveys as mostly full of crap. Everyone knows what HR is looking for because the questions are usually set up in a way where you have limited options to answer differently. Plus, people know that they are coming from HR and generally want to emphasize more money over perks.

        • pot_roast says:

          @FatLynn: “The HR studies…”

          I firmly believe HR studies to be trash. I have worked in places with ‘perks’ and without. I can tell you that I was much happier in the jobs with the perks.

          It’s also been my experience that HR is way out of touch with mostly everything, and I sometimes have no idea why HR departments even exist anymore.

          But yes, the perks made happier employees.

  4. East_Coast_Midwesterner says:

    Let me be clear. I hate Comcast.

    However, I have actually dealt with very positive customer service from New England Comcast. It is my understanding that you get routed to a local call center. So even though I hate Comcast the Boston reps get a thumbs up.

    • tonberryqueen says:

      @East_Coast_Midwesterner: You have dealt with very different Boston reps. They’ve never been helpful with me.

      One went so far once as to tell me I was wrong that the tech hadn’t shown up to install my cable yet, even though I insisted that I’d been trapped in the house all day, waiting for said tech.

      The CSR never even bothered to have somebody call the tech, even though she swore she would. The tech figured out on his own, almost eight hours after the two-hour install window was supposed to begin, that he’d gone to the wrong house and the people there just let him install it.

    • ptr2void says:

      @East_Coast_Midwesterner: We concur wholeheartedly. Our experience with Comcast customer service reps over the phone has been very positive here in New England.

      Now, maybe this has something to do with our bill being ~$200 per month…could be we end up in the “let’s keep this cash cow happy” queue. :)

  5. giggitygoo says:

    Yes, I’m sure the 4 Comcast employees who hung up on me when I repeatedly called to cancel my service because I was moving were absolutely thrilled with life. Never again.

  6. yentaleh says:

    LoL McCain Smiley Fries! (I’m Canadian, and sadly we don’t have Comcast here but we do have Mc Cain Smiley Fries and those cheer up anyone who is sad and suicidal…. like Comcast subscribers.)

    Btw the above comment was made in jest. I’ve heard mixed reviews on Comcast (mostly here on the Comerist boards) but because we also have equally mediocre cable services here I fully understand.

  7. winstonthorne says:

    Dammit! Now I want those little potato things.

  8. NightSteel says:

    I’m sure Comcast extends nice bennies to people that are actually Comcast employees, but if I’m not mistaken, most Comcast personnel that you, as a consumer, are likely to deal with are NOT actually Comcast employees, they are installation contractors or representatives in outsourced call centers. Not a ray of sunshine among the lot. This article sent my BS detector off the scale.

    • dukegreene says:

      @NightSteel: I don’t know if the guy who came out to install my service a couple weeks ago was a contractor or a bona fide Comcast employee, but he was cheerful, knowledgeable, flexible, and just generally pretty cool. I was impressed by his level of service. Jerry in Michigan, if you read this, thanks for taking the time to make sure that the interference levels were as low as possible.

  9. pop top says:

    Isn’t that obvious though? Maybe not to most corporations though. So many studies come out over the years that basically say “happy employees = better workplace environment = more productivity”. I wish that more places would actually take that to heart.

  10. Jon Mason says:

    Id be happy too to work at a place where my job requirements were so lax that I was free to not show up as promised at a customers house even when given an 8-hr window of opportunity…

    • FLConsumer says:

      @Skankingmike: So their head-end and local offices are also private contractors? After 3 months’ notice and numerous phone calls to Comcrap to get an additional cable modem for a business event, Comcrap never delivered. No one got fired that I know of. With that lack of accountability, how can anyone be unhappy?

  11. Raekwon says:

    Comcast is also rated the best place to work in Utah. Probably because they never have to actually do any work and outsource their call centers.

  12. ohmcno says:

    …I felt that way about MediaOne back in the day…about 2 acquisitions before Comcast…and that was on the MA South Shore. Boat anchor of a cable modem in 1999. Ahhh…memories.

  13. Skankingmike says:

    I would think the guys over at Turbine ([www.turbine.com]) would argue with this.

  14. Nighthawke says:

    Ok, so when did the Boston Globe turn into The New Gong Show? Who’s the joker that got bribed to slap this drivel online, one wonders. Oh, sure, I can see that they are one of the top employers in MA, but when you are under the gun while in The Great Crunch, it’s rather difficult to top that.

    So Comcast hired Top Places to run an in-state survey, obviously loaded with bling if they voted right, right?

    The quotes are loaded management BS bingo from word one, that’s fore sure. I’m sorry folks, but my rant must stop here before they strip my vowels away from me.

  15. Rachacha says:

    Comcast has apparently decided that if they came in 2nd on Consumerist’s Worst Company in America 2 years in a row, that they should try for Best company as voted by the Boston Globe, even though it is not quite as prestegious as the Golden Poo.

    Any Globe subscribers know how many full page ads Comcast takes out in the Globe every week?

    Ben, if Comcast comes in 2nd place again this year, can we award Comcast a Lifetime Lack of Acievement award? I think they have earned it.

  16. psm321 says:

    I have actually generally had good luck when I get somebody in a Michigan call center (where I am). When I call the main number and get a call center in some random state, not so much. The trick to getting a local call center is calling the number they have for your local payment center (though they’ve started changing that listing to 1-800-COMCAST so I don’t know where you’d get it if you don’t already have it)

  17. MariSama44 says:

    This is a complete joke. There’s no other explination.

  18. captainfrizo says:

    I used to work in a Comcast call center in WA and hated every minute of it.

    Management would go on witch-hunts and listen on every single call someone would make and write them up on every minor thing (like not asking to upgrade their cable package) repeatedly until they had enough in the employee’s file to justify a firing. If you gave two weeks notice they would send you home everyday (unpaid since you give up your right to use vacation and sick time upon giving said notice) the second there were reps available, no questions asked. No-one ever lasted the full two weeks; they all quit after the first few days of being jerked around. Over time people just quit with no notice at all to save themselves the hassle of having H.R., management, and QA breathing down their necks for two weeks.

    And that’s not even bringing up actually being on the people dealing with people in all sorts of moods and fixing the blunders of your worthless co-workers (and yes, about 85% of the people answering the phones at that call center don’t know left from right).

    It was 16 months of pure hell.

  19. dwb says:

    Someone needs to tell Steve White, the Regional Senior Vice President for Comcast in Northern California, that Stephen L. Hackley is making him look like fool.

  20. Paladin656 says:

    Having worked at Comcast before in Tennessee.. not the worst place I’ve worked, not the best either. There IS a lot of rhetoric of people (employees) being the company’s best asset, but when that highly valued asset has to spend weeks navigating the internal structure of Comcast to figure out why a customer’s ORDER (that’s right, someone who wants to give Comcast money..) won’t go through… judge for yourself.

  21. coren says:

    Wait a second. Google has an office in Mass and Comcast won?

    Bull. Shit.

    Look at some of this stuff:

    To help make things easier, new moms and dads are able to expense up to $500 for take-out meals during the first 3 months that they are home with their new baby.

    Google assists our employees by offering financial assistance in the adoption of a child. We’ll reimburse you up to $5000 to use towards legal expenses, adoption agencies or other adoption professional fees. Parental leave and take-out benefit also apply. See Time Away.

    Google matches contributions of up to $3000 per year from eligible employees to non-profit organizations. Bolstering employee contributions to worthy causes with matching gifts doesn’t just mean helping hundreds of organizations, both locally and globally; it’s also a tangible expression. We want Googlers to get involved – and the company is right behind you.

    Hungry? Check out our free lunch and dinner – our gourmet chefs create a wide variety of healthy and delicious meals every day. Got the munchies? Google also offers snacks to help satisfy you in between meals.

    [www.google.com]

    Comcast ain’t got shit on that.

  22. stuporglue says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Comcast, but given the limited options where I live, we went with them. After a scheduling mistake (they didn’t show up), the phone rep profusely apologized and very quickly offered a year at the discounted initial rate, and waived the setup fee.

    I didn’t even ask for or expect it. I had only asked if the person was still going to show up that day.

    I grudgingly give Comcast an approval rating.

  23. ahleeeshah says:

    Really? Seriously? I have never had customer service that was worse than with Comcast. When I moved out of the state it was the best day of my life, because I would never have to deal with their ridiculous phone line again.

    P.S. Comcast, if you’re listening, you handle calls into your customer service line by putting them in a queue and answering them in the order in which they were received. You do not search for an operator for 20 seconds and then disconnect the call because no one is available. My phone bill was over $200 that month because of how many times I had to call back before it finally let me speak with someone.

  24. Darkneuro says:

    The reason this is completely 100% no bullshit is because they talked to the genuine Comcast employees. They didn’t talk to the outsourced CSRs. They’d get a different story, but the excuse would be “They’re outsourced, not genuine Comcast employees”.

  25. jeffbone says:

    @Triterion: Interesting. I figured they’d be a featured item at Wal-mart.

  26. yentaleh says:

    @holytrainwreck:

    LoL yep! Or Shaw Cable which is what I have.