Cablefax The Magazine - July 2013 - 14

2013 Top Ops Awards
MSO CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD
Cox Communications
When people in cable speak about customer care and experience,
inevitably they acknowledge Cox Communications as
the leader. " Cox has been a customer care pioneer... dating
back to [its late President/CEO] Jim Robbins, " says Jana
Henthorn, The Cable Center's SVP for Academic and Industry
Outreach. Instrumental in The Center's effort to make customer
care an academic pursuit, Henthorn notes Cox's endowment
of a customer care chair at The Center and the University
of Denver in 2006. As a prescient Robbins told us in 2006, " At
the end of the day we're all going to have the same programming,
the same hardware. The differentiator will be how you
treat your customer. " Today, that pursuit is led by Paul Cronin,
Cox's SVP of Customer Experience. We asked him about
Cox's culture and new customer experience strategies.
Many companies talk about customer care. Cox not
only talks but delivers. What makes Cox different?
For Cox, it's all about the voice of the customer. We understand
the need to have a clear customer experience strategy
that directly relects the needs and expectations of our customers.
It's critical that we're listening to the customers, not
building our strategy in a vacuum or based on what we simply
'think' the customer expects. For example, we are making
signiicant investments in our video product experience this
year. We are doing this based on extensive customer research
and applying these indings to product development.
It's also important that our customer experience strategy
aligns with our brand strategy-it's our customer experience
strategy that brings our brand strategy to life. And last,
we compare ourselves to best-in-class companies, not the
industry. Customers are comparing their experience with Cox
against experiences they have with other companies, whether
* Cox has been receiving honors each year for a decade from
J.D. Power & Associates, beginning with Power's Highest
Honor in Residential Local Telephone Customer Satisfaction
award in 2003 and its highest overall rating in customer
satisfaction in the Western Region.
* Cox's outreach centers on youth and education. It
is a founding member of Cable in the
Classroom, providing commercial-free
television programming and online
resources to 81,000 public and private
schools. In 2003 alone Cox donated
more than $105mln in cash
and in-kind services.
14
cablefaxmag.com
that's their cable company, grocery store, or online retail outlet.
Our commitment is in our DNA-it goes far back in our
history and relects the Cox family's overall commitment to
the communities we serve. Customer service is a component
of that commitment. It's a core value at Cox and very much a
part of our culture. You regularly hear our President and COO
speak to it, which reinforces the message and value with our
employees.
The bevy of new products must have increased the
burden on customer care tremendously. How does
Cox keep CSRs and field techs up to speed?
You're correct; we do ask a lot of our care agents and technicians.
Customers continue to get more value from their Cox
service in part because they can connect more devices
within their home to our network and their service. But we
also recognize that it's adding new things for our employees
to understand and support. We have a very comprehensive
new-employee training program.
Through Cox University we have a robust set of online training
materials that enables employees to access information. In
addition we continue to provide traditional classroom training
as needed, often for larger product initiatives. Traditional
weekly team meetings are critical to make sure we're getting
timely information to employees and hearing their feedback.
We also engage employees in the developing products
and services, as many are on the front lines. Through focus
groups and employee testers, we capture what they're hearing
from customers and engage them as a critical piece of
our product and service delivery model.
What are some new customer care/experience techniques,
strategies and technologies that Cox is using?
In addition to having a clearly deined customer experience
strategy, we also have a robust customer listening engine
to ensure we always use the customer lens in our decision
making. This happens in many ways, including what our
customer reps are hearing on the phones, and in social
media. We're also looking differently at how we should
measure the customer experience. Historically we have
looked at " customer service " performance along a narrower
dimension and with speciic customer touch points. It's
important that our measurement of the customer experience
be done more broadly to relect the overall customer
experience with us from the brand message in the market
all the way through the interaction with our products. Having
a customer experience measurement system that every
employee throughout the organization, not just in Care and
Field, can understand is critical.
- Seth Arenstein
July 2013
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Cablefax The Magazine - July 2013

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Cablefax The Magazine - July 2013 - Contents
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