Interview: Frank Eliason @ComcastCares on the Customer Experience and One-Tweet Resolutions


comcastguyThis is a guest post by Jon Gipson.

Frank Eliason is the Director of Digital Care at Comcast. His team is in charge of assisting customers on the web. Frank has done a good job of creating an important presence for Comcast in social media, particularly on Twitter. He told us about the importance of the customer experience, the current environment in which Comcast operates, and his personal life. Please send him a tweet after reading!


1. When I first joined Twitter I immediately saw pages for John Mayer, Oprah, and then… Comcast Cares. What caused Comcast to include Twitter as a line of communication for customer care?

As we are working to improve the Customer experience, one of our objectives has been to meet Customers where they already are. We do this in many ways throughout the internet, including blogs, forums, Facebook, and Twitter. This is just a great way to listen to Customers and assist when we can.

2. What internal/external feedback have you received thus far?

Feedback internally and externally has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers love to have a voice and we love the feedback.

3. Often times when a customer tweets @comcastcares with a question or issue they get a reply asking them to email customer care. What plans are in place to get closer to achieving “one-tweet resolution”?

LOL! I love the “one-tweet resolution!” This happens when the trouble that is being reported may require a little research or we may need more information beyond 140 characters. Our preference when possible is to keep it on Twitter. There may be other times, like the other day I was traveling without all my tools, so I asked people to email my team.

 

4. Are there any plans for special announcements and/or discounts via twitter?

To us this is not a space for marketing, but rather a space to have conversations with our Customer.

5. Verizon recently announced that they are testing a “twitter widget” that will possibly be released to FiOS customers in the near future. Does Comcast have any plans to offer a similar product?

There are so many “widgets” out there thanks to the open API that Twitter has. I think it would be natural for this to shift to other mediums like TV, and I would be excited at the prospects. Imagine watching the same show with someone and Twitter about it? I do not know if Comcast will offer such a tool, but at the same time I think for many it may be more convenient to do it with the laptop instead of TV screen real estate taken up by the app.

comcasttown_socialnerdia6. Comcast Town is another recent initiative, what are the thoughts/aspirations behind it?

It is part of our “Dream Big” campaign. We are working to transform the company and this ad campaign supports that. I love the fact that the marketing team included a social media aspect to the campaign.

7. What other strides is Comcast making in order to become an innovator in the digital revolution?

We never sought to be an “innovator,” we just wanted to do what was common sense in our mind: Help Customers when they need it. My team handles so much, including reaching out via blogs, forums, moderating our own help forums, etc. I think Customers and the social web will continue to find new places that meet their interest. Our plan is to continue to meet Customers wherever they are on the web.

8. There’s a constant “he said/she said” buzz between cable and satellite. What is Comcast doing to make Comcast cable a hands-down winner in the years to come?

I would never get into any of that. For me Comcast is very different because of the packages we can offer and the speeds of our internet. As we rollout DOCSIS 3 with speeds that will be up to 160 Mbps Comcast will be the choice for internet, TV, and phone. I also believe our On Demand offerings surpass those of other providers. With our project cavalry, which will move many channels from analog to digital, we will be offering a lot of HD. This is an exciting time.

9. The government mandated transition to digital television is just days away causing some consumers to jump on the cable bandwagon. What is Comcast Cares doing in the days ahead to make the transition to cable as smooth as possible?

The best response can be found on our blog.

10. Other than being the "Comcast Twitter guy", who is Frank Eliason?

Truthfully what you see is what you get. I am passionate for the Customer. I am a family guy. I started in social media with a family website. Initially used to communicate how our daughter Gia was doing in the hospital after she was born premature. After she was released we used it to educate and raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis, which she was diagnosed with at birth. When she was 3 she was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, a childhood cancer of the liver. We again shifted to the web and provided updates and educated people on the childhood cancer. After she passed away we updated the website with her sisters who were born a few years later. The original website can be found at www.sitedreamer.com/gia and the current website is www.eliasonfamily.info.

comastcares11. If you could say anything to current/future Comcast customers using the Twitter standard of 140 characters or less (and we will count), what would you say?

We’re working hard to improve the experience for our Customers. Please share your feedback with us at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com.

Copyright © Esteban Contreras. All rights reserved.