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Winning the Admiration of Customers With Good Service, Innovation

by on ‎07-30-2010 11:16 AM

1334i310CAA12E43FB2F6Customer relationship management expert Jim Kane hit the bull’s eye on the importance of customer service in our industry, and among our competitors, with comments in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article about satisfaction.

 

“The problem for cable, satellite and phone companies is that they expect to get credit for things they're expected to be doing," Mr. Kane said in the article bearing the headline ‘Satisfaction in Cable Lags.’ "If you want me to be a loyal customer, you have to go beyond the things you're supposed to do.”

 

It’s as if Mr. Kane has been listening in on our conversations at Verizon.  He doesn’t consult for us, but the notion of doing more than the obvious resonates as we strive to go above and beyond the norm to make customers for life.

 

Granted, we’re far from perfect.  Each missed opportunity presents a chance for us to enhance a procedure, system or tool so that the experience our customers receive is extraordinary and not just so-so or pretty good.

 

The Wall Street Journal references the May results of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey in which Verizon FiOS service led the pack with a score of 73, followed by our competitors, many of whom had scores in the low 60s out of 100.

 

One of the reasons Verizon FiOS scored so well in the ACSI survey is the 100 percent, all-fiber optic network we operate in contrast to the more antiquated networks operated by many of our competitors.

 

As the article states, cable has “had to migrate from a multiple system platform that was pretty primitive,” according to another industry expert whose firm specializes in issues involving cable operators, programmers and suppliers. “In contrast, FiOS is starting out with a 21st-century platform.  In some markets, cable still isn’t where it needs to be.”

 

At Verizon, we’ll pump millions of dollars into our communication networks this year, ranking at the top of all communication providers in terms of capital spending.  The investment we’re making to ensure our FiOS customers get the best network; the best combination of voice, Internet and TV services; and the best overall service experience that includes ordering, installation, billing and post installation follow-up are making an impact.

 

Just this week, Comcast’s CFO said competition from Verizon FiOS services contributed to the drop they had in quarterly broadband Internet customer additions.

 

So while tough competition helps Verizon to win over more customers, our goal remains taking care of our customers at every imaginable step of the relationship process.

 

Our unique In-Home Agent tool continues to help customers self diagnose technological issues they are experiencing with their FiOS service.  Our interactive media guide has put enormous power in the hands of our customers with the simple interface of their remote control or, in growing fashion, their cell phone.  The support and ordering sections of www.verizon.com have proven a hit with customers who want to manage their account, order video content and change services at a time and place of their convenience.

 

There are more innovative solutions up our sleeve, and we’ll be sharing details with you in the months ahead.  What’s most important to know for now is that every measure of innovation and customer relationship management we engage is being done with the intent of delivering a level of service that equals the unrivaled fiber-optic network capabilities that separates FiOS from the pack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
by WltS1235 on ‎07-30-2010 12:35 PM

I honestly feel as though I'm a character in a Kafka novel.

 

With respect to Verizon customer service, let me offer a bit of real world experience. Two days ago, Verizon was scheduled to install FIOS in my home between the hours of 8 and 12. At 11:25 on that day, I received an email that informed me that Verizon will instead install FIOS at my home on the 10th of August. Of course, there was no explanation.

 

For the last two days, I have spent a great deal of time and effort to not only learn why Verizon would arbitrarily decide to make me wait in my home for someone to install FIOS, but whether they might actually try and expedite my purchase of one of their services. 

 

After firing off emails to their CEO and the company President, I am currently waiting to hear back from "executive customer service" (ECR) regarding my order. It has now been nearly 2 days since ECR contacted me, and while not everyone (especially my ECR representative) has been a disaster, apparently enough individuals have that I still don't have answers to my questions.

 

I have detailed my experience here: http://bit.ly/ag6nzd in the hopes that this might spur someone with any authority or power to help the good people at Verizon gain a customer rather than the bad people wreck another relationship (it would be the second time for me).

 

So, as much as the folks in PR would like to think that all is well in the area of Verizon customer service...I can tell you from personal experience that it most certainly is not. Perhaps I ought to ask for a large retainer as a consultant (I currently consult on matters of national security), but that might be far too large a task for even a person like me to take on.

 

And so it goes...

by sister2 on ‎07-30-2010 12:51 PM

 


Bill_Kula wrote:

 

 ...There are more innovative solutions up our sleeve, and we’ll be sharing details with you in the months ahead. 

 

 

Oh I am sooo curious!! :smileyvery-happy:

Does it have anything to do with the recent, surprise speed boost?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

by Gus_Gutz on ‎07-30-2010 01:39 PM

 


 

There are more innovative solutions up our sleeve, and we’ll be sharing details with you in the months ahead.  What’s most important to know for now is that every measure of innovation and customer relationship management we engage is being done with the intent of delivering a level of service that equals the unrivaled fiber-optic network capabilities that separates FiOS from the pack.

 


 

I can think of an innovative solution that would make many customers happy and bring in more customers. Give us better STB's with more storage and make them reliable so we do not have to reboot them every half hour.The rumored innovation of your next DVR is just 40 hours of HD record time. You call that innovative... I call that a joke. That has been talked about for 6 months now. Sharing details in the months ahead means nothing, actually doing something now that is innovative.

 

My Verizon FiOS internet service is awesome, my phone service is great. My Verizon wireless is the best, great phones and excellent coverage. This is what I come to judge Verizon by. But the DVR used for FiOS TV has to be the worst in the industry with only 20 hours of record time.  NO ONE from Verizon will comment on that. Maybe you could pull something out of your sleeve and comment on that.

by on ‎07-30-2010 03:20 PM

WltS1235,

 

We always appreciate knowing about customers' real world experience so that we can understand and learn from it.  We've checked with Executive Customer Service, and they're actively working on your order and will be in touch.  Let us know what happens here.

 

Bill

by on ‎07-30-2010 03:31 PM

Gus_Gutz,

 

If you're on Twitter -- or even if you're not -- I suggest you follow Verizon's Joe Ambeault, who tweets @FiOSTV (www.twitter.com/fiostv.  He talks in 140 characters or less about FiOS TV developments, including set top box capacity.  Hope you come away knowing that this is something that's being worked on in real time.

 

Bill

by WltS1235 on ‎07-30-2010 05:52 PM

Bill,

 

Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated, thank you!

 

Still nothing as of today, it really makes me angry that when people like you make the effort to try and help you've got to go through some layer of bureaucracy (not ECR...but generally speaking). 

 

I'm going to continue to speak up for the good folks at Verizon (like Bill) that are being thwarted by the bad ones...This has really got to stop...an executive has spoken.

by Mugen on ‎07-31-2010 10:41 AM

Innovation yes but customer service still a long way to go.

 

I had cable triple play for 3 years and just switched to VZ FIOS for the last 2 weeks. The technology is awesome but definitely not the trouble I have to go through.

 

1. Instalation tech. arrived at 9:30am, not ringing bell, no greeting, not introducing himself but was making a personal call. First thing he told me was he need to call his boss to get another guy in to pull the fiber through the conduit to the box about 80 feet away. This may take another hour for the new guy to come in.

 

And then, he said I may not have enough fiber (left by another guy the day before). I asked him what was involved to pull the fiber and explained to him I used to work for the phone company. Then, he started explaining and measuring the distance of the fiber (which was almost double the length required). And I simply "helped" him pull the fiber through (He really didn't need my help )

 

The work went smoothly afterwards until it was 2:30pm. He was practically running out for his 4:30pm doctors' appointment (at the town 15 mins away) before I got a chance to plug the phone jack in and test the dial tone. I had to call him back since the phone wire was too short to reach my phone and I never used that phone wire due to previous cable service.

 

The tech got the job done but the experience could have been better. Compare that with Cable, they sent a

contractor to do the installation but the guy got it done a lot quicker since it was on his own time.

 

2. I received the welcome letter with a pseudo bill which shows what the Normal Monthly Charges look like. There is a $30/month difference (The rep. I signed up promised a $30/mth off discount for the 1st year but it didn't show up on that psuedo bill.) And there were some internet service charge that I don't recognize.

 

So, naturally, I called customer service and she told me they don't have my bill either since I am a new customer and they can't tell what my terms are. The internet service was on some online backup thing & starz that the sales rep never discussed. I was told I have the worry free guarantee and can always disconnect my service if I am not happy with it.  And I should wait at least 30 days for the first bill to generate before they can discuss it.  This kind of answer doesn't exactly give confidence and comfort to your customer. In other words, I have to weigh this $30/mth difference on my mind for another 30 days before I can discuss it again in another phone call with the customer service people. I asked to cancel the extra internet service that I didn't order. Again, I was told since my account wasn't activated at the time, I had to wait till it did to cancel the service I didn't order.

 

Again, Cable don't have this kind of problems.

 

3. I changed my installation password to my more permanent password 4 times. Why 4 times? because it didn't let me login with the new password after I made the change the first 3 times. (even though there was confirmation of success each time). It wasn't until the next day I was able to login with the new password. I couldn't verify my email because my zipcode didn't match that on record. Then, when I tried to look up my profile/record, it is unavailable even after my account is supposedly activiated. It took me 2 more days to complain before I got the password and email verification resolved.

 

This makes me feel VZ is kind of amateurish because this kind of problem simply doesn't happen with web sites nowadays(even for someone running it out of freeware and garage)

 

4. How do I setup Outlook for my verizon email?

 

This is a simple question I had asked many times with other ISP. And the answer usually can be found in FAQ

within mins. Not Verizon.

 

First, I used InHome Agent and the Online Support, and followed the instructions. incoming.verizon.net

but it didn't work.

 

Second, I sent email to tech support telling them the solution didn't work. They simply told me to RTFM again.

 

Third, I contact chat 3 times. 1st time I was transferred without a reason 2nd time I wasn't able to send message (yes on typing but it didn't post) 3rd time I got connected to an idiot, who spent 20 mins repeating my question and I got disconnect while he tried to do screen sharing. He had my phone number but he never called back.

 

Fourth, I called tech support, waited 18 mins on the phone after navigating through the menu. The first thing the guy told me was incoming.yahoo.verizon.net and bingo.

 

It took me hours to find the answer of a simple question. The tech guy even commented I should use google next time to search verizon's own site over the InHome agent and Online support.

 

I am 2 weeks into the service but it is one frustrating experience after another. And it has very little to do with the technology and products. I love the products. They are superior to cable and are better designed mostly. But then it failed miserably at places you don't expect.

 

ps. The first VZ sales girl I spoke to made me feel like I owe her money big time. I don't know what's wrong with her but again she is another Verizon people who do not introduce themselves and the company name and was just silent answering the phone. I had never had a saleperson from a major company answering their calls silently. This was the first. I had to say hello a few times to get her to say yes. And later, I found out the info she told me about porting number was also wrong.  I was glad I got disconnected that time and the manager had another guy called me back instead.

by Mugen on ‎07-31-2010 10:44 AM

Forgot to mention there is no central feedback for service at Verizon except the feedback for the web site.

 

If you type feedback under Site Support search, the only thing that came back had to do with phone feedback (a technical problem).

 

I know you can also post on community or like here in a blog. Perhaps the idea of customer feedback is still foreign to the old telephone company.

by Gus_Gutz on ‎08-01-2010 12:46 AM

 


Bill_Kula wrote:

 

If you're on Twitter -- or even if you're not -- I suggest you follow Verizon's Joe Ambeault, who tweets @FiOSTV (www.twitter.com/fiostv.  He talks in 140 characters or less about FiOS TV developments, including set top box capacity.  Hope you come away knowing that this is something that's being worked on in real time.

 

Bill

 


Talk is cheap. Typing is cheap Twitter is cheap. For two years you have been saying new boxes are coming. Was that real time too or was it just more cheap talk, typing and twittering. Lets hear you take all those 140 or less characters, condense them and reply here for all users to see on an official Verizon site and not some 3rd party service you can deny anytime.

by Banjoman53 on ‎08-02-2010 02:20 PM

So we have had this service for a some time now. The last year has been crazy!!  The home phone and computer are out every 2 months. They come and say it is at the pole . They say we have fixed it . 2 months go by and the same thing happens!!  When I call to try to get some help( after 10 min of auto system) I get a person on the phone who it seams I am bothering them!! They are very rude!!  They keep putting a band-aid on what ever is wrong and in 2 months I will be back on the phone with the rude women again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by on ‎08-02-2010 02:27 PM

Mugen,

 

Thank you for sharing these experiences, however hard they were for us to read about them.  We've reached out to you via email to help with the issues you've had. Looking forward to hearing back from you so we can get started.

Bill

by on ‎08-02-2010 02:43 PM

Banjoman53,

 

Sorry to hear about the home phone and computer issues that you've been having.  And it sounds like we can do a better job on the phone when you call.  We'll be contacting you to get more details about what you've been experiencing so that we can help.

 

Bill

by Gus_Gutz on ‎08-02-2010 03:08 PM

My experience with support has been good. They cannot fix what is inherently bad to begin with. It all comes back to poor hardware and programming. I have no idea why some days caller id works and other times it does not. I have no idea why some days I can log in from the internet and record a show and most days I cannot. I have no idea why my set top boxes respond some days and others they do not. I have called and talked to support and they have to reboot and it works for a day or two then BANG it does not. Verizon's response is to use some third party sight, Twitter, and read half of a conversation someone is having with others. I don't get that. 

 

Why can't support just be upfront about some of these issues with plain and simple language. Having to figure out what is being said from half a conversation with cryptic messages 140 characters long just doesn't cut it. Is that asking too much?

 

 

 

 

by on ‎08-02-2010 04:16 PM

Gus_Gutz,

 

I suggested you take a look at Joe Ambeault's Twitter site because Joe is talking there every day about upcoming FiOS TV developments.  This is an authorized Verizon Twitter site, and Joe is a director of product management who is on the front lines of bringing new products and features to our customers.

 

He Tweeted this today, for example:

 

@kplayaja relief is on the way... external storage expansion

 

Do we have more details? Sorry, not yet.  But when we're closer to launch, we'll blog about it here at the Verizon at Home blog.

 

As to the issues you're having with Caller ID, remote DVR access and your set-top boxes --- that shouldn't be happening, and we can have someone contact you to troubleshoot them.  Just let me know.

 

Bill

 

 

by Gus_Gutz on ‎08-02-2010 10:51 PM

Bill, I gave up trying to fix the problem with caller id and remote dvr.  I can troubleshoot it just like support. Reboot and Reset...Sure that will work for about a day, but when you are not at home and want to watch something,... like the All Star game, because you have to work late... It would be nice to log into the web page and record it. Of course that is when it doesn't work. Can't reboot and reset when no one is home now can you. You cannot fix what is inherently bad to begin with. Tech support will just send another router, like they did before and within a few days the same problem will be back. Been there done that....


Reading a twitter page gets you only half a conversation. How do I know this kplayaja didn't say he just took Alka Seltzer because he needs to get his tech friend a gift for his birthday and the response is "relief is on the way... external storage expansion." Everything said on that authorized site is out of context. It means absolutely nothing.

 
This is why support and communication with your paying customers is such a problem. I cannot understand why you (Verizon) do not see that. Can't you see how misleading twitter is or how the underlying problem is not fixed by a reboot of the DVR and a reset on the router? 


I pay less than I did when I had satellite. I figure paying less means I get less and now realize that what I gave up was storage on my dvr, a better program guide, remote dvr (from both my PC and my phone),caller id and the ability to watch recorded shows on my home network including my PC's. If FiOS tv wants to compete with the big boys, they need to address these issues and not on twitter.

 

 

by CAROLGOMEZ on ‎10-13-2010 09:13 PM - last edited on ‎10-13-2010 09:34 PM by Moderator

I had Verizon in the lobby of my building recruiting new customers.  So I have learned the hard way that anything that seems too good to be true......Well, it is.

 

I have no problems with the service.  Let me knock on wood - one minute.  Okay I'm back.

 

I signed up and the promotion was a $250 gift card.  To use at over 60 stores.  Well, it sounded great and I got all excited thinking that could really come in handy and hey what do I have to lose?  My bill will be $10 cheaper and I will receive a $250 gift card and how lucky am I?  Hahahahahahaahhahahahahahahahahaah

 

What a joke!!!!!!!!!!!

 

You get a card that gives you a master order number and a promotion code and all you have to do is go online after the installation and you'll get an email that will give you instructions on how to activate the cards.  Sounds great right???????  IT'S A BUNCH OF LIES.......I GIVE IT TO YOU THOUGH, YOU WENT THROUGH A LOT TO SET SOMETHING LIKE THIS UP.  WEBSITE, REBATE CHECK STATUS, CUSTOMER SUPPORT, ETC.....  YOUR COMPANY IS THE WORSE COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH.  How dare you take advantage of people like this. 

 

I have called every single number that you have and not one person can help me and when they supposibly want to help they say, "Oh let me transfer you"......Guess what happens then......Dial tone.......

Or you get the rebate center and they say, "Oh, there is no gift card promotion for $250 "  Well you know what Verizon, I have the card the guy gave me, his name is:  J{edited for privacy}, and it has Verizon name all over it   You have messed with the wrong person.  If it was offered to me when I signed up, I EXPECT IT......WHAT I DON'T EXPECT IS TO GET JERKED AROUND.........

Like I said I don't have a problem with service, but No One is going to mess with me. 

 

Wrong One Verizon, Wrong One........

by silver_2000 on ‎10-14-2010 01:18 AM

While Im glad that someone at Verizon is brave enough to face the masses

Twitter is USELESS for customer service as a one to many medium ... Here is an example why 

http://www.twitip.com/how-to-make-twitter-less-like-listening-to-one-side-of-a-phone-call-for-your-f...

 

Anyone with customer service experience always rephrases the customers question back to them so that everyone understands what the issue is.  Thats even MORE important on Twitter if you are going to try to use it for one to many conversations - No one will follow everyone so that they can see context .  Without context Twitter is mindless self promotion.  Just like the link says - its like listening to one side of a phone conversation.  I understand that the character limit of twitter makes this approach difficult, but then that circles back to why its a POOR one to many solution.  Its like stapling one half of a too short email conversation on a telephone pole.  It might make you feel good but means NOTHING to everyone walking by.

 

Oh by the way Ive been a Fios customer in TX since the early days.  Back then customer service rocked.  if you want to fix customer service - go back to the way it was done then.

by Gold Contributor VII on ‎10-14-2010 02:32 PM

I agree with silver_2000, Twitter is just about useless. Sometimes if you click on the name being replied to you can find their original quesiton buried somewhere down in all of their other posts, but what a pain and waste of my time! I gave up on the Verizon Twitter stuff very quickly.

by on ‎10-14-2010 03:25 PM

Carol Gomez,

 

We apologize that you've been unable to activate your gift card, and we weren't able to help when you called.  We certainly want our customers to be able to use our gift cards.  Please send me a private message here in the forums with the name of your apartments, your address and contact information, and we'll have someone look into this for you.

 

Bill

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About The Authors

Bob Elek

Manager - Media Relations

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with FiOS since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

Alberto Canal

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Alberto is in the public relations group. He loves to share tech, sustainability, feel-good, and random news of interest. A happy FiOS quad play customer, he likes to use his family as guinea pigs.

Deidre Hart

Manager -- Media Relations

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Deidre is a member of the consumer PR team and loves to talk everything FiOS and everything football. She’s also a happy Triple Play customer.

Phil Santoro

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Phil has been extolling the virtues of FiOS ever since he had his Triple Play installed and can’t image how he ever managed without it. He writes about developing technologies that enable him to fuel his addiction to movies and sports whenever he wants, no matter where he is.

Caroline Wilson

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Caroline manages the Verizon FiOS Google+ page, capturing the latest in entertainment, technology, sports and everything in between. She loves using social media and the written word to extend the FiOS conversation.

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