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(One Question, four parts)
A local cable company, Zeron, has had a
monopoly on cable services in the County. As a result, the number of
customers has grown significantly. In order to keep up with the high
call volumes, Zeron has outsourced several agent and customer service
positions. There has been a high level of customer complaints over the
past few years, both to the company and to the Public Service
Commission, which oversees the cable company. In the past decade,
without any competition for cable services, Zeron has chosen to do
little or nothing to reduce the complaints or attempted to correct the
causes of the complaints. The areas with the highest percent of
complaints include: long hold times, complaints about the customer
service agents (apathetic, unprofessional, unresponsive, and not
knowledgeable), inaccurate billing and extra fees, failing to meet
scheduled appointments, service disruptions, and an unacceptable level
of complaints not being resolved on first call. See below for examples of common complaints submitted.
There have been many articles written
in the local papers and discussed by the media that Zeron’s employees–
the customer service agents, technical staff, field staff and even
management– have failed in meeting the needs of their customers. Staff
absenteeism has grown and the annual employee satisfaction survey has
shown that employee morale and job satisfaction are at all time lows.
Additionally, a recent customer service survey of all public service
providers in the county ranked Zeron last with an average score of 2.2
on a scale of 5 in overall customer service.
Recently the Public Service Commission
approved two new cable providers for the county and they have started
making deep cuts into Zeron’s market share. In
fact, the competitors’ marketing and advertising has focused on
excellent customer service and exceeding customer expectations. The
company has requested assistance from your consulting firm to help it
improve its service quality and, therefore, stop the loss of its
customer base and possibly win back some of its lost customers.
Support and be specific in your responses.
What specific actions would you take to improve Zeron’s service structure and its overall level of service?
What step-by-step approach would you recommend in creating a customer-centric culture throughout Zeron?
Utilizing the criteria for Category 3.1 and 3.2 (b) of Baldrige, what actions would you take to build better customer support and customer relationship management (CRM).
What specific actions would you take to improve the overall morale, sprit of service and commitment of Zeron’s employees?
Common Zeron Complaints
1. I put in a service call on April
17. Today is April 20 and I have not had any service for phone, cable
and internet. I have called and I got different answers of why I have no
service by three different service agents. I know that I am just one
customer and I will no longer be a customer. Thank you for the worst
2. Late for Service Calls: Zeron
scheduled a service tech to my address on Thursday, 29 March, between
07:30 AM and 08:30 AM. The service tech was an hour and a half late and
didn’t install the additional line in a back bedroom that was requested
on the initial work order that I placed. No one called to advise me
that the service rep would be an hour and a half late. I had to contact
Zeron to inquire as to what happened and why the service tech was not on
time. This lateness by techs is typical and unacceptable.
3. Outages happen but Zeron’s dismal
failure to quickly update its messge service about the outage just
magnifies the problem. A quick message at 1-800-ZeronCC acknowledging a
problem ensures customers that they are working on it. It took them 34
minutes to answer my call. I think Zeron owes customers prompt service.
We understand outages happen but not sloppy customer service.
4. I noticed an increase in my bill,
called to inquire and was told that an increase was due for that month
and beyond. I stated that I wanted to reduce my service and avoid any
higher monthly cost. I was placed on hold, transferred from one to
another representative, placed on hold again. After about thirty
minutes, I called again, was placed on hold (ignored) again. After more
than an hour and twenty minutes on the phone (holding), I never received
any satisfaction. Zeron has earned a notorious reputation for
disrespect and disregard for their customers.