I Know the Secret to Comcast’s 'Future of Awesome' Customer Service

Cable repairmen have a bad rap. Think about Jim Carrey as the lonely and slightly disturbed cable installer in the 1996 movie “The Cable Guy” or the Comcast tech who fell asleep at a customer's home in 2006 and became a viral hit. Now, consider Roy Streete who works as Comcast contractor in Richmond, Va. Learn why he's the secret to Comcast’s excellent customer service.
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How to Convert Cranky Customers to Happy Ones

When employees feel empowered, amazing things can happen.

Just ask Frontier Airlines Captain Gerhard Brandner.

Last week, Brandner found himself in a challenging work environment. With a delayed plane packed with tired and frustrated Frontier Airlines passengers, Brandner faced a potentially angry mob.

His Denver-bound plane landed unexpectedly in Cheyenne, Wyo., due to severe weather and sat on the runaway awaiting its fate from the airline’s maintenance team. Sensing his passengers were tired, restless and hungry, Brandner took matters into his own hands.

He called Domino’s and ordered about 50 pizzas.

Word spread quickly as passengers shared the tasty news on Facebook and Twitter. Social media channels erupted with praise and cheers. Brandner’s quick action instantly became PR gold.

TV crews, like KTLA and FOX News, took notice, and so did People magazine, which proclaimed Brandner as “the Greatest Airline Captain of All Time.” (Captain Sully Sullenberger, who safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, seems a little more suited for this title.)

Watch the latest video at <a href="http://video.foxnews.com">video.foxnews.com</a>

One Frontier passenger later told a TV news crew, “the captain said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, Frontier Airlines is known for being one of the cheapest airlines in the U.S., but your captain is not cheap. I just ordered pizza for the entire plane.'”

Clearly, Brandner is one highly engaged employee, even if he reportedly called his employer “cheap” and paid for the pizzas himself. He felt personally empowered to make a difference for his customers. He later told news media, “[the passengers] are my responsibility the moment they step on the aircraft until they get off the aircraft.”

Companies that understand this customer service mentality and empower their employees to take action are going to have more engaged customers. Note to Frontier Airlines: It’s even better if your employer gives you the budget to help make the situation right.

In the retail and service business, exceptional customer services means giving front-line employees budget control to make decisions without having to check with a manager.

Not every airline can pass out free pizza during a delay, but the positive attitude and caring gestures by employees can turn unfortunate situations, like delayed flights, into memorable ones.

It’s the small stuff that customers typically remember … the warm smile, the eye contact and the friendly conversation. A slice of hot pizza also helps.

Jonathan Rhudy first learned customer service as a bag boy working at Ukrop’s Super Markets in Richmond as a teenager. Today, Kimpton Hotels continually wows him with unexpected and creative gestures when he’s on the road. 

34 Minutes in the Dark + Creative Communicators + Willing Executives = ‘Super’ Social Media

When the lights dimmed on the 49ers and Ravens during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, Twitter and Facebook screens lit up with rants and raves. With 13:22 left in the third quarter, Baltimore led San Francisco 28-6 and no one knew for sure what was happening or what effect this would have on the game. Like millions of others seeking answers during major news events, I jumped on Twitter. With no quick explanation for the sudden outage in the New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome (other than Beyonce’s high-wattage, half-time performance), social media exploded.
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