DirectTV and Under Cover Boss

Posted on: October 11, 2010

Last night’s Under Cover Boss featured Mike White, CEO and President of DirectTV. Most of us have cable TV, however this show was very interesting to me because as a former employee of Scientific Atlanta, a manufacturer of cable products for cable companies, I understood what Mr. White may encounter.

From technicians, installers and call centers, every cable company either lives or dies on excellent customer service. Mr. White is new to this business. He was a Marketing executive for Pepsico and was hired as President and CEO only six months ago. The learning curve for the technical aspects of the business is very high. You have to learn new terms and new ideas. But the basic principal is the same, good products and excellent customer service.

Mr. White became a technician in training in Bessemer, Alabama. Crawling up in attics, climbing roofs, troubleshooting problems in-house while providing good customer service are all part of the job. He was amazed that his technicians didn’t have a company provided GPS system. Of course, he is taking care of that problem.

He then went to Las Vega and worked in the warehouse. There he found that deliveries to the warehouse only come once a week. That seems unacceptable because with over 26 million customers, technicians need products to do their job. He said that he will take care of that one too.

When Mr. White went to Birmingham, Alabama to become an installer he found out what it takes to climb roofs and install satellite dishes in a thunderstorm. Pretty scary stuff, but the installer he went with was very knowledgeable and competent in what she did. What a nice gal she was. However, they had to wait over a half hour when they called into the technical center to get the TV cable up and running. Totally unacceptable.

Finally, he went to their Call Center in Denver, Colorado and was paired up with a lovely young woman who was professional and knowledgeable in what she did. They have a maximum call time of 10 minutes to help customers get their DirectTV up and running. Hope someone at Dish watched this show; I’ve been on the phone with Dish sometimes for over an hour!

What this show and series is really all about is that big corporations are not the evil, fat cats as some people claim they are. They are run by caring people who know that their best assets are their employees. When your employees are happy and producing well for your company than your company is making money. You can give your employees raises and promotions, do nice things for them such as scholarships, give birthday parties or even contribute to a cause that your employees are doing.

These are real people working at real private companies. This is the engine that runs our economy. Washington, D.C. are you watching this show? You just might learn something.

Next week, the President of Frontier will be highlighted. Love their animal ads!

Until next time,


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