Okay, all, the latest from Ellen Filipiak, SVP Customer Care at DirecTV. For those of you who don't know, she's been doing an entry on how DirecTV is supposed to be fixing their customer care issues, which have been myriad, for quite awhile now. Every two months there is an update on their progress. My assessment? They are making some progress and Ellen's efforts are appreciated. She seems to be the right person for the job. BUT the entries themselves still bother me because they are too market-y. Which makes me uncomfortable to some degree. So, all in all, progress, but they don't have my trust yet. She does, but they don't. They ARE at least going to take a page from @Comcastcares and go on Twitter. That's a smart move.
Here's here latest. You judge. I gotta go. I'll explain why tomorrow.
Day and Mother's Day - for us it's the NFL season and we spend a lot of time and energy making sure we're ready for it.
In my last post I mentioned I would update you on some fundamental changes planned for my operation. We've developed and implemented many of these changes to not only be prepared for our busiest time of year, but also to provide long term benefits for our customers and call center agents.
We began the improvement process by listening to what our call center employees said would help them serve customers better. Many shared the difficulties they felt when they were new on the job - telling us that the variety of calls they took initially required a broader knowledge of our business then they could absorb in such a short time. We found that many new agents felt they were in a tougher spot than we realized. This led to more transfers, longer handle times and the possibility that customers would need to call again to get the answer they needed.
After hearing what our agents had to say, we reduced the number of topics new call center employees would take to just billing and general inquiries. This allowed new agents a better opportunity to learn our complex business. We also changed the hours of operations for these types of calls to extended business hours. Making this change allows us to recruit better candidates and to retain our dedicated employees by offering more family friendly shifts.
Our next focus was on providing better support for new customers and supporting those existing customers looking to add or change their services. One of the things we've heard from customers and agents alike is that when it's time to make a change, be it a package change, an equipment upgrade or something else, additional support may be needed to explain the benefits and answer any questions regarding the impact of that change.
Of course, not every area needed such dramatic changes. Technical support remains available 24/7 as customers use the service round the clock and many of the agents supporting that area appreciate the flexibility of their hours.
The benefits we have seen since making these changes are noticeable and concrete. Our agents feel better knowing we recognize they have important and challenging jobs and are pleased to know that we are investing our time in building their skills and confidence in answering each call.
Of course, listening to the needs of our customers is not limited to just our customers' calls and our agents in the call centers. The Internet provides us plenty of information about how our customers feel. Previous posts highlighted some examples and we continue to expand our listening beyond established online communities. One example of an emerging online community is Twitter.
We have been keeping an eye on Twitter posts for sometime - and while we have intervened on behalf of some customers - our primary focus there is to listen and watch for trends and focus on solutions that will benefit everyone, not just those that are using Twitter. To that end, we recently added our presence on Twitter,sharing how customers can get the most from their existing service. By highlighting features and services already included in their monthly subscription, like our new mobile DVR Scheduler or special free previews provided by us or our programming partners, we can emphasize the value of what they are already paying for. As a baseball fan you might appreciate that one of our first tweets highlighted a recent retro broadcast of a Cubs game being shown on WGN. We posted when and where to find that game as we thought more than just Cub fans would want to tune in to see it -- and we received positive responses to that post. Other posts highlighted free previews of subscriptions like MLB Extra Innings and our top programming package. Our goals on Twitter will remain, for the foreseeable future, first to listen and secondarily to highlight features and special values our customers.
Overall, I feel that we can only benefit from hearing what out agents and customers have to say so we're paying attention, at the call center and online. I appreciate the opportunity to serve our customers and to share the news that things continue to improve. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your feedback. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go over the game plan with my team one more time before our busy NFL season kicks off.