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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Comcast Training Materials Leaked 251

WheezyJoe writes: The Verge reports on leaked training manuals from Comcast, which show how selling services is a required part of the job, even for employees doing tech support. The so-called "4S training material" explicitly states that 20 percent of a call center employee's rating for a given call is dependent on effectively selling the customer new Comcast services. "There are pages of materials on 'probing' customers to ferret out upsell opportunities, as well as on batting aside customer objections to being told they need to buy something. 'We can certainly look at other options, but you would lose which you mentioned was important to you,' the guide suggests clumsily saying to an angry customer who doesn't want to buy any more Comcast services." Images of the leaked documents are available on the Verge, making for fun reading.
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

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  • Grabbing Hands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AlecDalek ( 3781731 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:10PM (#47708959)
    The grabbing hands, grab all they can...
  • by slowdeath ( 2836529 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:11PM (#47708963)
    Why is this a surprise? Or even 'newsworthy' on slashdot? This is just good business. When I go to a store, any store, they try and sell me more stuff. Ask me if I found everything I need. Have I tried this new brand of drink? When I have a meal in a restaurant they ask me if I want coffee or dessert. If you don't want it, just say no.
  • by Fulminata ( 999320 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:53PM (#47709165)
    Yes, but the description above indicates that they are trained not to take "no" for an answer.

    It's not good business to irritate your customers, unless it doesn't matter because you have them locked into your service due to a virtual monopoly.

    Looking to find and fill a genuine need for your customer = good.

    Trying to sell them something they obviously aren't there for (such as additional services when they are looking for tech support) = bad.

    Continuing to bother a customer when they tell you that they're not interested = terrible.
  • by thaylin ( 555395 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:53PM (#47709167)
    Mc Donalds cashiers are there to sell stuff.. That is different from the people in the back making the food. How fast would they start losing customers if the cooks started coming up and tried to pressure you into buying stuff before they would make the food you already ordered and paid for... Or if you came to the manager with a mistake and instead of fixing the mistake they tried to sell you more stuff...
  • by EmperorArthur ( 1113223 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @10:55PM (#47709181)

    Isn't it in McD's training manual to upsell as well. Not that I love Comcast or McDonalds, but if this isn't standard operating procedure, then you aren't doing your shareholders right.

    This is more like telling the person in McDonalds that your burger is nothing but two piece of bread and them saying, "Sorry this isn't close to what you ordered, but do you want fries with it?"

    Comcast can only get away with these scummy tactics because most of us don't have a choice. It's Comcast or no TV. More relevant to Slashdot, it's Comcast or dialup. Just think, if they buy Time Warner then almost everyone will enjoy the suffering.

  • by preaction ( 1526109 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:00PM (#47709211)

    I'm assuming this is a joke, because a lot of people cannot afford to just up and move because they don't like what a utility company is doing.

  • by rainmaestro ( 996549 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:30PM (#47709371)

    Must be nice to have competitors. One ISP in my area that provides anything beyond DSL speeds. Bundled utilities that you can't split: water, sewer, stormwater, waste pickup and recycling all in one bill. Even if you go with WM privately, you still pay for county collection as part of your utility bill. Same for recycling.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @04:28AM (#47710419)
    If a customer says no thanks then that should mark the end of the sales pitch. There are occasions when good customer service means not selling shit to them AT ALL. For example if someone rings because of a fault and you fix it with profuse apologies then they are a happy customer and likely to be remain loyal. If someone rings and you badger them to switch packages instead of focussing on the problem then the next time you may hear from them is when they call to cancel.

    And if you REALLY piss people off then sooner or later someone is going to recall that excrutiating call with customer retention and post it up on the internet. And then the reputational damage will far exceed any benefit of being incalcitrant with departing customers.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @05:46AM (#47710641) Homepage Journal

    There's a time and a place. Even the McD's employee mopping the floor knows better than to ask a customer who says "clean the bathroom, the stench makes me want to vomit" "Would you like to vomit some fries with that?"

    It's one thing if the customer has called to ask a "how can I" sort of question, it's another if they're calling because you are currently failing to provide what they already paid for. All you'll do that way is make them smile as they imagine sledghammering your balls.

    It's far worse if the customer only got angry during the call because your flipbook/flowchart isn't solving the problem. You've just convinced me that I know more about your network than you do and now you want to sell me more based on your "expertise"?!?

    There's a lot of data that suggests you can get a pile of cash robbing people in the park as well, but that doesn't make it right. The only reason the megacorps get away with it is where the competition is equally slimy.

  • by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @10:14AM (#47712009) Homepage

    I understand upselling. I run a business and can appreciate its effectiveness. However, there's a time and a place for everything, and customers who do not want to be sold anything should always have their wishes respected.

    When I deal with large corporations who try to upsell me, I tell the reps to stop doing that and deal with my question. It usually works. If it doesn't work, I cut them off and ask to speak to the manager. That always works.

  • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @01:49PM (#47713781) Homepage
    Your reputation only matter when your customers have an alternative.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.