The PhoneBoy Blog

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Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

A Comcast employee responded to a post I had made about Comcast’s bandwidth management practices. He divulged himself as a Comcast employee but said something that drives to the core of this post:

And in case anyone is wondering, Comcast doesn’t pay me to watch for stuff like this online. I am doing this as an individual who works for the company, not in any official capacity (CYA there, cover your actions). I do it out of curiousity about the company I work for and for something to do while I wait for my next incoming call.

I see a lot of people out there acting in an “unofficial” capacity for their employer all the time. Clearly this guy works the customer support helpdesk at Comcast, and yet he’s taking a moment to respond to my rant about Comcast.

In some companies, behavior like this is tolerated–not encouraged–and in others, it’s anything from a reprimand to a firing offense. Personally, I think the guy should be given a raise.

Now granted, I perform similar random acts of kindness. Even though my job has zero to do with the phone side of Nokia‘s business, I take a great interest in it, participating in the conversation and assisting our customers as much as I can. I take pride in the fact I work for Nokia and try to put my best foot forward, yet be as honest and forthright as I can.

For me–and maybe for this Comcast fellow–it’s about passion. We care enough about tour employers that, even though in that context, it’s not our job, we do it anyway, and we do it willingly.

What’s amazing to me is that the people that are paid to care don’t. It may be because they truly don’t, or it may be because corporate policy prevents them from doing it. Either way, customers–and ultimately the company’s–best interests aren’t served.

To answer the question in the title of the post–whose job is it, anyway–the answer is that it’s everyone’s job to care for the customers. It’s not just the people who work in support, it’s everyone. Each and every one of us from product designers to the manufacturers to the marketers to the sales and support folks and everyone in between.

What do you think? Does your employer encourage all their employees to care about our customers? Does your employer enable employees to properly represent the company and try and do something about a customer complaint, or at least get it to the people that can? Is this behavior encouraged? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ben+Sam

#Cybersecurity Evangelist, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.