How Social Customer Service is Changing the Culture at Comcast

Brian Solis Principal, Altimeter Group

Posted on October 17th 2011

Comcast and service are two words that have been closely aligned and analyzed since Frank Eliason initiated the @ComcastCares program on Twitter. Eliason built a new channel for engaging customers to solve their problems. More importantly, he also developed a new infrastructure at Comcast to learn from their experiences. Frank has since joined CITI, but before his departure, he solidified the future of @ComcastCares by placing it in the hands of Bill Gerth and Kip Wetzel. Under the direction of Gerth and Wetzel, Comcast’s social customer service program continues to develop a culture of customer-centricity. At the same time, the team is leading internal efforts to transform products, processes, and services to not just respond to negative experiences, but also improve them to eliminate problems in the future.

Kip Wetzel, Sr. Director Social Media Servicing & Strategy, Comcast joins (R)evolution to share Comcast’s vision for service and why customer service becomes a key that unlocks a new generation of customer relationships.

This episode was recorded during the SalesForce Social Advisory Board meeting in San Francisco. Participants included brand managers from the likes of Disney, Livingsocial, P&G, Nissan, SunTrust, Dunkin Donuts, Get Satisfaction, and VW, we address the need for businesses to not only react to conversations but also lead them.

Please take some time to watch the episode and share your thoughts with us…

Season 2 – Episode 10

Season Two:

S2E1: How Mercedes Benz Successfully Uses Social Media to Engage

S2E2: Technorati’s Richard Jalichandra on the State and Future of Social Media

S2E3: Guy Kawasaki on the Art of Enchantment

S2E4: Adly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh on the Social Era of Celebrity Endorsements

S2E5: Filmmaker and Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain

S2E6: Jim Louderback, Revision3 CEO on the Future of Broadcast and Web Television – Part 1 of 2

S2E7: Jim Louderback, Revision3 CEO on the Future of Broadcast and Web Television – Part 2 of 2

S2E8: Marcel LeBrun of Salesforce Radian6 on the Future of Social Media Monitoring

S2E9: Our Digital Society in the Next 30 Years: An Interview with John Battelle

Watch Season One on YouTube

Now on iTunes!


Brian Solis

Principal, Altimeter Group

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

See Full Profile >


A surprisingly underwhelming interview.  There's no discussion of Comcast's unflattering customer satisfaction scores or rankings based on reports like the ACSI's at or the just released Temkin rankings at where Comcast was ranked 140 & 141 of 143 possible rankings.

It's also suprising that part of the interview focused on the number of outbound and inbound tweets (output measures) without providing any context around those numbers.

Brian asked, "What is that Comcast is striving to achieve with social media?"  Kip responded, "Our goal is to meet customers on the platforms that they're comfortable using and really take an opportunity to listen to them for once and engage with them. ... Let the customer know that their voice is heard."

Listening via social media is very important but it's also important to show that by listening to them, Comcast also needs to be able to show how customer problems are being solved and customer satisfaction is improving with social media as an enabler.  This is important not just for Comcast's leadership but also for its customers.  Customers will engage with a service provider as long as they see some tangible value, e.g. problem resoution, being an outcome of that engagement.

Had Brian Solis and Kip Wetzel discussed this Comcast challenge and how Comcast is specifically addressing their customer experience and satisfaction challenge, this interview would have been more meaningful.