Commentary

Network Consumer Connections Should Leave The Berating Behind

Given the uproar over that overly aggressive Comcast customer service representative phone call a couple of weeks ago, you may wonder whether other media companies will look for a bit of an overhaul in their consumer service.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Comcast situation, an aggressive Comcast customer service rep was recorded berating a customer who just wanted to cancel his service.

You may wonder whether there should be a new wave of customer service staffers at perhaps ABC, CBS, Fox, Facebook, your favorite TV station or your favorite TV show -- who would offer kinder words to media consumers. “How do you like our new fall TV shows, our new social media areas?” one might ask. “Do you have any suggestions?”

Viewers are not just looking for engagement but control, even if it’s faux control at best. What better way than having some nice, consumer service representatives at their disposal?

Network marketing executives already scan social media messages and complaints. But most of that is passive. Viewers might like a better connection in the form of a real meaningful conversation, digital or otherwise, with big-time TV creators.

A new generation of viewers will then come at a higher price -- not just for producers to be concerned about, but for advertisers that need to still target that specific audience.

But perhaps new media thinking at companies won’t be the kind that apparently Comcast staffers received: “Eighty percent [of our training] was sales training,” one Comcast staffer told The Verge. “From time to time they would pull us from the phones for in-depth training on how to sell. [They told us] to say how much better Comcast is than the rest of the competition. ‘Why would anyone leave us?’”

Confidence! Who doesn’t love that? What about how -- and whether -- to berate one’s customers?

TV consumerism and business these days are all about exchanging blows. Increasingly it’s a contact sport. Time to get into media shape.

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