Building Lifelong Connections In A Time Of Crisis
I’m fortunate that so many members of my family—from my grandchildren to my mother—all live in the same community as I do, here in Monroe, Louisiana. In these trying times, it’s easy to see how important it is to stay connected with family, friends and neighbors, especially as we seek to “socially distance” ourselves to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
To me, staying connected is not a luxury, but a lifeline. CenturyLink provides vital network connectivity to the world’s Internet, and we have taken several steps designed to help customers in these difficult times, such as waiving late fees, suspending data usage limits, and making a commitment not to terminate residential or small business services through June 30 due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19.
At the same time, I’m so proud to be leading a team of women and men focused on meeting the needs of the customers and the communities that we serve. They are not immune to the personal challenges we all face, and I can’t thank them enough for the sacrifices they are making every day.
So, what happens next?
Before this crisis began, CenturyLink made another commitment to its customers. We wanted to drive simplicity surrounding the way we charge for our services. That’s still an important goal to me. I’ll be the first to admit that the telecom industry can be a bit complex, but that’s no excuse for making pricing just as complicated. So, a few years ago, CenturyLink decided to do something about that. We began promoting an offer that allowed customers to select our “Price for Life” pricing plan. Simply put, we promise you can keep your rate for as long as you have your plan, without price hikes or long-term contracts.
Of course, there is nothing simple about a lifelong commitment. It’s a pretty big ask, so let me share with you a few reasons why we can make a promise like this:
- We’re close to where you are—We currently provide fiber access to more than 2 million households, and we expect that number will continue to grow. Between the end of 2018 and 2019, we doubled the number of subscribers with speeds of 100 megabits and nearly tripled the number of subscribers on our 1 gig offer. Customers want speed and products that are simple to use and easy to understand. We’re striving to deliver both.
- We give you peace of mind—Computer networks get viruses, too, along with a lot of other nasty stuff, so we have a talented, global team of security experts who closely monitor our network. They intercept millions of threats every day to help our customers feel secure. We also offer Identity Theft protection, automatic backup of your most essential files, 24/7 phone support and remote online assistance.
- We put customers first—At the same time, don’t let all this technology fool you. When you have questions or concerns, you want to connect with a real person. Like now. So, we set up a Customer Advocacy team with one fundamental goal, to be a champion for the customer and keep the customer foremost in all the decisions we make. We doubled the size of our team and recruited seasoned people managers to be there to listen. So far, the team is doing a great job. Customer complaints and agent issues have declined significantly. And for those of you who prefer social media, we resolved more than 25,000 customer issues through that channel last year.
Henry Ford, who knew a thing or two about creating customer loyalty, once said “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress.” I’m confident that we will get through this current crisis by staying together, and we will do everything we can to help keep you connected—today and tomorrow.
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