First, watch the Comcast video of the ugliest customer service debacle I've ever seen...
...Caught the video? OK, then read on ...
According to TVWEEK.com , "A Comcast technician in the Washington area took a nap on a customer's couch, and the customer caught the bit of shut-eye on video."
Now, imagine how you could make the situation worse. On second thought, let Comcast do that for you. Adweek continues, "Shortly after the video was posted on YouTube, Comcast fired the technician and issued the following statement: "Comcast has reached out to the customer to apologize for his unsatisfactory customer experience. We have been in direct contact with the customer and all of his services are working properly and to his satisfaction.""
So, let's see how bad this can get.
Adweek reported that, "The video was submitted to YouTube on June 20. By June 29, it had been viewed more than 540,000 times."
Then, Comcast hopes that it is all over. But it is only the beginning (I predict).
Next, the folks at Saturday Night Live run with it.
Then all the extremely-talented amateurs serve up their incredible parodies (don't worry, they ARE coming). And Comcast looks even more ridiculous than they already do. "Parodies???", you ask. Of course! Oh, let's make a few wild guesses:
*Comcast guy sleeping. The competitor technician slips in, fixes the problem in 30 seconds, shakes the hand of the disgusted customer. Fade to black as the snoring rises.
*Comcast guy sleeping. Calendar pages fly by. Major holiday celebrations are held around the guy. Years later, in Rip VanWinkle fashion, Comcast awakes - hopelessly behind, technologically, in a world that is beyond his comprehension.
*You get the point. If a boring guy like me can come up with these, imagine what the truly creative types are going to do to Comcast. It's just too easy (and it hits way too close to home for way too many of us beleaguered customers).
Forget the parodies. Based on the degree of haste in which this whole shebang went down, I guess that the technician did not sign any documents on the way out. Imagine the Comcast horror when the tech shows up on TV next week, stumping for a COMPETITOR. This time the technician has tons of energy and nails the issues promptly. He grins and says it all has to do with the team behind you. Ouch!
Or how about this alternative scenario. I call it: "Comcast quits hiding behind mommy's skirt and acts like a grownup." Here goes:
1) Comcast acknowledges the issue.
2) Comcast fires the technician's boss. After all, who created the nightmare scenario wherein the companty's own technician has to wait on hold for over an hour???!!!
3) Comcast issues an ad within days (ala Reebok) that has the technician stepping up, saying he personally humiliated himself and his company. He takes responsibility for his own actions, then goes on to say that he became angry with Comcast. Instead of slinking off into oblivion, he decided to address the issue. He went back to the office and listed the issues. He was surprised to learn that everyone else felt the same way. As a crowd of coworkers slowly surround him, he lists the issues, then goes on to PROMISE that Comcast is addressing every single one of them. He ends with a request: he asks the customers to please be a little patient, and to DEMANDexcellence from every Comcast encounter. (Of course, it would HAVE to be totally true, and well-supported. That goes without saying.)
I really can't believe, in this day and age, with ALL the lessons we've learned in the PR, Marcom, and corporate branding arena, that Comcast thinks the best move is to simply fire the technician and go about business as usual. That's what got them into this mess in the first place.