Charter: Up to 95% of truck rolls now handled in-house

Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) said that more than 95 percent of its truck rolls are now being handled in-house, a strategy that is improving churn and other metrics.

"Today, nearly 90 percent of our customer calls are handled onshore and in-house, and 95 percent of our service truck rolls are in-house. Those higher-quality customer interactions are reducing service transactions, reducing churn, and creating longer customer relationships, supporting greater customer growth and reducing our operating costs," said Tom Rutledge, president and CEO of Charter, during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call last week. 

With Charter's pending mergers with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks, Rutledge said the MSO has plans to perpetuate this in-house strategy as it integrates new assets. 

"Over the past four years, we've hired over 7,000 people to help us support our products with customer service provided by our own people as opposed to contract labor offshore,' he said. "In the new company, we'll need to hire about 20,000 more people to do the same, proportionally."

"As we train and manage our own employees, we're creating a skilled labor force that is executing higher-quality service transactions with our customers when we sell and provision, install, answer billing questions, or handle repairs," Rutledge added. 

Like other pay-TV operators, Charter has faced a wave of crime perpetrated by installation contractors. The company told FierceInstaller in November that having techs screened, trained and employed on staff has been one way to mitigate these types of challenges. 

As it is the case with all major cable operators, Charter attributes markedly reduced churn to, in part, improved customer interactions. The MSO added 33,000 video subscribers for the fourth quarter and actually added video customers (11,000) for the first time in a decade. 

Charter also added 450,000 high-speed Internet customers in the quarter, a 9 percent growth uptick from the fourth quarter of 2014.

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