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Charter all in with new customer guarantee program

Mon, 03/12/2012 - 2:18pm
Mike Robuck

Charter's John BirrerAfter going over how it handles customer service with a fine-tooth comb over the past few years, Charter Communications today launched its Charter All In Customer Guarantee program nationwide.

The cable operator industry has been working on the public’s perception of its customer service ever since its “On Time Guarantee” was first launched in the early 1990s, which helped create customer service standards.

Charter said its Customer Guarantee program is backing up its dedication to customer service with financial commitments.

"Put simply, we're putting our money where our mouth is and holding ourselves accountable to deliver the best customer experience,” said John Birrer, senior vice president of customer experience. "We stand behind our products and services, and we're providing more tools and resources to our teams so they can make each customer experience great. We're approaching our business differently, always putting customers' needs first."

The Charter All In Customer Guarantee comprises four key commitments between the nation’s fourth-largest cable operator and its customers. The first is a money-back guarantee that kicks in over the first 30 days if customers aren’t happy, for any reason, with their services.

The second commitment is Charter’s service experience guarantee, which means Charter service representatives will arrive during a subscriber’s scheduled appointment window and will complete the service call on the first visit, or Charter will provide a $20 credit.

Charter’s third commitment is a reliability guarantee that provides a $20 credit if a customer’s service is down for more than 24 hours. The fourth area is a “product promise” that Charter will continue to offer more HD choices, faster data tiers and more on-demand offerings.

"Today, our products are more robust, and our network is more reliable than ever. We're executing on a two-hour arrival window and delivering a great customer experience on many fronts," said Steve Apodaca, Charter's president of operations. "We're committed to delivering a great experience, and the Customer Guarantee sets standards of what customers should expect from us and what we'll do to make up for it if something goes wrong along the way."

Charter’s customer service transformation was already underway when Birrer came onboard at Charter last year from T-Mobile USA. Charter conducted several field trials last year that were part of its customer experience transformation.

On Charter’s fourth-quarter and year-end earnings call last month, Charter’s Don Detampel, executive vice president of technology and president of commercial services, outlined the company’s “none or one” philosophy, which boils down to customers not experiencing any service disruptions, but if they do, having it take just one time to fix them. The philosophy is backed by Charter’s service guarantees.

“We will continue our customer experience transformation, which is the foundation of our overall strategy,” Detampel said on the earnings call. “Our goal is to deliver an unmatched customer experience through a companywide initiative that is gaining traction.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but the cultural transformation is taking hold, and early customer feedback is positive. Satisfaction for our new customers is 35 percent higher than for tenured customers.”

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