How Comcast changed the customer care landscape with its digital tools during Covid-19

Comcast
Comcast's investment in digital tools and applications are a boon to its subscribers during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Comcast)

Comcast's years of investment in digital solutions paid off for the cable operator and its customers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 changed the way Comcast's subscribers interacted with customer service, which included allowing them to interact digitally with Comcast on their own terms, and will continue to do so going forward.

Comcast put some numbers behind the use of its digital channels and tools during the pandemic, which included 42% of its customers saying in a survey that they would use the digital channels more frequently to engage with customer service than they did prior to Covid-19.

Nearly half (45%) of the customers in the survey that used Comcast's digital customer service tools since March 10 expect to continue using them more frequently going forward. The pandemic also provided a means for customers to become more familiar with digital customer service engagement with 63% saying they were comfortable using it.

With more Comcast employees working from home during the pandemic, Comcast's subscribers largely were able to resolve their customer service issues using the digital tools.

"At Comcast, we see millions of interactions happening every day with our customers," the company said in a press release. "The need for simple, digital solutions has never been more important, and our multi-year investment in digital platforms and capabilities are paying off."

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As previously noted in a recent FierceTelecom story, Comcast saw a 445% increase in the use of its Xfinity Assistant, which it had been developing for more than 18 months prior to the pandemic. Xfinity Assistant is Comcast's cross-channel, virtual customer service tool.

Xfinity Assistant answers customers' questions around the clock without them needing to stop what they're doing to call customer service reps. Comcast said Xfinity Assistant is helping its customers about 400,000 times every day, compared to before COVID-19 when it averaged about 60,000 interactions a day. Comcast said Xfinity Assistant was proof that customers want to use digital tools and applications.

Xfinity Assistant is available across X1, Flex, the xFi app, Xfinity.com, MyAccount, Facebook Messenger and more.  Additionally, Comcast subscribers can text, chat, or call for additional support.

In addition to helping subscribers resolve their customer care issues, Xfinity Assistant could also lead to fewer truck rolls for Comcast.

"Xfinity Assistant is really an automated platform in which customers can interact with us and with the intelligence that we have as to the health of their equipment, or their billing, or different questions that they may have," said Comcast's Ed Marchetti, senor vice president for national field operations, in a previous interview with FierceTelecom. "The Xfinity Assistant will be our engine for interacting with customers and resolving a lot of their questions and issues.

"We've done such a great job embracing the Xfinity Assistant system, but I think we're in the early innings of what the power of Xfinity Assistant will ultimately do for us. We're really excited about what we've implemented so far, and how it's helping our customers digitally interact with us on their terms and on their time."

Xfinity Assistant also allows customers to schedule a virtual "call back" or "text back" so they avoid hold times with customer service reps.

Among the common questions and demands asked by subscribers to Xfinity Assistant were "What's my Wi-Fi password?" and "Pair my remote to my TV."

In addition, Comcast said digital troubleshooting was up 83% on Xfinity.com during the pandemic. Comcast said that 82% of it subscribers that used an Xfinity digital in channel in April received the support they needed without speaking to an agent over the phone. Comcast also saw a 20% bump on in customer satisfaction in regards to turning up internet services through its digital tools, as well as a 60% increase in customers downloading its xFi app.