June 20, 2019 | Podcast

This is CX, Episode 46: An interview with Kyle McSlarrow, senior vice president of CX strategy and journey design for Comcast

This is CX, Episode 46: An interview with Kyle McSlarrow, senior vice president of CX strategy and journey design for Comcast

Hear how customer experience is structured and operates within Comcast, how they use the NPS system to drive operations and budgeting, the company’s challenges continuing to improve scores, and how to maintain positive momentum.



Mike (West Monroe): You have a very unique and diverse background. How did you get to Comcast and into the world of CX?

Kyle: At the time I was serving as the Deputy Secretary of Energy in the Bush administration. In 2004, someone reached out to me to interview for the position of President and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA). It’s the trade association that represents the industry – both operators like Comcast, charters, programmers like ESPN and the networks. I knew nothing about cable. I did a little due diligence and it sounded interesting. I realized this industry is really at the center of everything. I hadn’t really thought about it before, I was a happy customer with 35 channels of analog video. As I did more research, I fell in love with the entrepreneurial roots of the industry and the enormous risk the industry had taken. First on the video side, and then creating the entire cable programming universe, and then the fiber build which rolled out broadband across the country. The six years I spent at NCTA reinforced a lot of the hunches I had going in. As much as I was honored to support the industry and strategy, I wanted to be in the industry. I joined Comcast for two reasons: 1) the people I knew, it was a great group of strategic and humble people 2) Comcast went from being a fast follower to an innovative leader for the industry. I wanted to be in the field, we are right there with the front line employees and the customers. In field operations, it’s a lot like leading a mid-size company, that’s where my passion for customer experience was born.

Mike: What surprised you the most with the new role?

Kyle: We had thousands of men and women that were passionate about serving the customer. They weren’t perfect, but they wanted to do right by the customers.

"I was struck by the complexity of our business. We are always trying to simplify, but it’s a really interesting industry. We’re not talking about one product, but four or five, each of which has to be perfect 24/7, 365 days a year because our customers care about those products so much."

The complexity of seeing that play out in a field operation organization from sales, to care, to service support, to truck rolls, it’s complicated. To me, it’s the reason I love it. It really affected how I think about my current role and how we can simplify for our customers, employees.

Paul (West Monroe): With those five products, journey mapping and journey design is a wonderful tool to break down those silos. How much of that is actually happening? Are you using journeys to change operations to reflect the way customers want to interact with you?

Kyle: It’s been happening a lot. We’re talking about those journeys together (with tech ops, care operations, systems engineering). I’m not alone, they are part of the CX team just as much as I am. The transformation that we’re on is changing the interaction model. For years the customer experience journey could have been defined as becoming more operationally efficient. We have hundreds of millions of fewer calls and truck rolls, and it’s all good things for the customers – fewer interactions the customers have to go through and fewer reasons for having to call. All of this happened, but it’s not the same thing we have been doing for a year and a half which is changing the interaction model.

We start with the customer, do we know them, do we have their mobile number, email address, can we communicate with them? It’s very foundational and tactical but critical for everything that follows. Do we have the ability with AI and Machine Learning to take the array of data we have and scale to one? We are good at scaling up but can we do the opposite?

"It’s about taking the massive amounts of data with AI and scaling to one. Provide contextually rich information, not about someone like the customer but about that customer."

The third piece is taking that and engaging in a digital dialogue.

"More interactions if they are contextually relevant, expected, and useful to the customer is actually a good thing."

We’re now engaged in a digital two-way dialogue. We have closed-loop communication of here’s what happened, here’s what happens next. We’re trying to take that model of interaction and apply across the business. With the massive amount of interactions, that is the place where we can provide the most meaningful, impactful change.

Never miss an episode

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to get new episodes as they become available.

Each episode includes a discussion on a key CX topic, while also highlighting tools that CX practitioners can use, and how CX helps address key challenges our clients are facing.

Explore our latest perspectives