DISH confronts low customer satisfaction culture

US pay-TV operator DISH has shared its vision to confront the low customer satisfaction pervasive throughout the pay-TV industry. To redefine its relationship with customers, DISH is doubling down on a company-wide commitment to listen, in an industry that it says does not. This sentiment is captured in DISH’s newly launched ‘Tuned In To You’ promise and accompanying ‘Spokeslistener’ campaign.

“Customers just want to be heard in an industry that has forsaken its ability to listen,” said Erik Carlson, DISH president and chief operating officer. “‘Tuned In To You’ is more than a marketing slogan. It’s a company-wide rallying cry and a long-term business philosophy. DISH has a history of putting our customers first and taking bold steps to make TV better. We are at our best when we listen to and fight for what our customers want.”

DISH has served as a disruptive force since its 1980 emergence cemented satellite television as viable competition to the cable industry, ultimately driving innovation and lower prices. This tradition continued with DISH as the first pay-TV provider to offer a DVR, and more recently with an abundance of advancements like AutoHop, conflict-free TV with Hopper 3, Netflix on Hopper DVRs, DISH Anywhere, HopperGO, as well as the My Tech tool’s reliable 75-minute arrival windows. Further, the company has consistently fought for lower prices and customizable programming options, including its two-Year Price Guarantee, Flex Pack skinny bundle and live over-the-top service, Sling TV.

DISH is examining every customer touchpoint, across all departments, to evolve the delivery of customer service throughout its nationwide workforce. These efforts are exemplified by the October launch of ‘Base Camp’, an immersive training programme that taps into the deep understanding that frontline employees have of DISH’s customer base.

Through Base Camp, corporate employees work in the field for one month to gain practical experience supporting new and existing customers. Participants field customer calls from billing inquiries to tech troubleshooting to sales inquiries from prospective customers. They spend full business days accompanying DISH’s professional technicians to observe the in-home services completed daily.

“The notion that management should roll back its sleeves and work with its customer base is almost unheard of in corporate America,” said Carlson. “But we can’t possibly fulfil on our ‘Tuned In To You’ promise without a working knowledge of our customers and the interactions they have with our brand.”

DISH expects to graduate 700 employees – including senior leaders – from Base Camp by year end. All interns and full-time new hires at DISH’s headquarters complete Base Camp within the first two months of their employment, while a plan is in place for all existing corporate team members to enroll in the training.

“Base Camp was one of the most eye-opening and educational experiences I’ve had during my tenure at DISH,” said Warren Schlichting, DISH executive vice president of media sales, marketing and programming. “One by one, Base Camp is instilling into the members of our headquarters team a ‘Tuned In To You’ mentality and a sense of urgency to improve our customer experience.”

An immediate change consumers will see is DISH prominently featuring feedback forms across every DISH.com webpage. While the company has always sought feedback, it’s now proactively asking TV lovers to share the ideas they see as capable of improving the customer experience. These real-time insights are distributed to designated leaders throughout the DISH business for review and potential implementation.

DISH and the Spokeslistener

With internal changes underway, DISH’s ‘Tuned In To You’ promise kicks off with a new multimillion dollar campaign – ‘The Spokeslistener’ – that challenges the traditional spokesperson convention commonly used in television advertisements. DISH, with creative agency Camp + King, launched a series of television, radio and digital advertisements that illustrate the common frustrations experienced by pay-TV customers and the solutions offered by DISH.

“A spokesman talks at you, while a Spokeslistener listens to and communicates with you,” said Jay Roth, DISH senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “It’s a demonstration of our commitment to acknowledge common customer frustrations, and then take the appropriate action to provide meaningful solutions.”

DISH’s first two Spokeslistener spots are rolling out on local network affiliates (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) from February 6th in more than 150 markets nationwide. The company will introduce additional ads in the coming months.

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