Comcast CEO Neil Smit Says Improving Customer Service Is His Top Priority

Comcast Cable President and CEO Neil Smit spoke at Disrupt New York today, discussing his company’s recent deal with Netflix, his thoughts on Aereo, and more.

“I think if there’s one thing to disrupt in our business, it’s customer service,” Smit said in response to TechCrunch writer Ryan Lawler mentioning that Comcast was recently voted the worst company in America.

“It’s my top priority,” he added, explaining that customers should know the exact time a technician is coming to their home, among other changes.

Smit mentioned Netflix, Amazon, Google, and Apple as new competitors in delivering content to viewers. When pressed specifically on Comcast’s recent direct access deal with Netflix, Smit chuckled and noted, “Reed’s full of surprises,” alluding to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

“We feel it was a good outcome for all parties,” he said. Smit refused to go into greater depth regarding Netflix, and ducked questions about what Apple and Comcast are working on together.

Discussing cord-cutting and customers sharing their passwords, Smit touted Comcast’s new packages and college partnerships as ways to win over millennials. While he said he believes multiple approaches, from over the top to more traditional cable, will win in the space, he referred to the cost of content multiple times during his talk.

“We pay $9 billion a year for content,” Smit said. “One of the things that I question in the Aereo solution is: are they paying for content? The spend for that content has to come from somewhere.”

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