Google Fiber’s Un-Cable Provider Approach Sets Focus on Customer Experience

Google Fiber sets takes a holistic approach to customer service. 

  • Google Fiber

With a focus on being what it calls the “un-cable provider,” Google Fiber wants to win customers and manage the experience during the entire relationship life cycle.

Today, Google Fiber is in 11 markets with plans to enter more this year and next.

Melani Griffith, vice president of customer engagement for Google Fiber, said during the Fiber Broadband Association Virtual Event that everything “begins and ends with the customer.”

Griffith says that Google Fiber views customer relationships as ongoing rather than a one-time transaction. They begin when potential customers look at Google Fiber offerings online, sign up, and become paying customers.

“We want to make sure we reflected engagement in our name, which is how we bring this product to customers every day and interact with them when they notice us through marketing and through our onboarding experience,” she said. “Engagement is an important word for me because it shows the commitment we’re making to our customers.”

An Essential Service

Being an internet-based company, Google Fiber delivers what has become an essential service. As students and businesses were forced to learn and work from home at the onset of the pandemic, symmetrical broadband became just as important as heat and electricity.

“What we’re bringing to our customers is something that used to be in some people’s mind a luxury, like entertainment,” Griffith said. “Now, in the last year, it has proved to be an essential service for people.”

Knowing the how fundamental the internet is, Google Fiber touts simple pricing and personal customer support. Google Fiber still charges $70 for a 1 Gbps service and now $100 for its new 2 Gbps product. Google Fiber’s 2 Gbps service is available in Utah (both in Provo and Salt Lake City) and in Atlanta, joining Nashville and Huntsville.

“We want to show that we’re ‘un-cable’ in that we have not raised our internet prices in more than 10 years,” Griffith said. “We don’t charge an install fee or an activation fee.”

Focus on Experience

Google Fiber has developed its “Refreshing Internet” campaign, which touts that its service does not include data caps, annual contracts or hidden fees – issues that have long aroused the ire of internet users.

Also, it focuses on how its human customer service team is available anytime to help customers – by phone, text, email, chat or direct message.

“People don’t know the difference between broadband and Wi-Fi,” Griffith said. “If you say, how is your network, people often use the word Wi-Fi, so we want to make sure that the whole internet experience is phenomenal.”

Download speeds are important to watch Netflix or stream the latest Foo Fighters single on Spotify, but consumers notice speed lags when they conduct a two-way Zoom meetings. Griffith said COVID-19 has enabled Google Fiber to highlight the importance of symmetrical speeds.

“COVID-19 helped tell the symmetrical story for us,” she said. “Nothing is worse than when you’re on a video call and jitter interrupts a person working from home, so we’re making sure you know how fiber does a better job for this pain point.”

Before a customer signs up for service, Google Fiber makes the onboarding experience easy, with simplified setup and appointment times for customers who need on-site assistance. It sends a self-install kit with setup instructions. For example, the instructions instruct customers on where fiber jacks are in their apartments.

“Any step that causes a customer a challenge, we try to anticipate it and plan ahead for them,” Griffith said.  

(This article will be included in Broadband Communities’ upcoming Jan/Feb as part of our FBA Fiber Connect event coverage.)

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