Charter Moves into New Home for State Operations

Charter Communications recently moved into new state offices in Vestavia Hills, Ala., allowing the company to expand its customer-service operations, as well as open a new retail store. The 37,000-square-foot facility brings under one roof Charter’s Alabama management staff, dispatchers, field technicians, installers and retail sales reps.

The new centralized facility has allowed Charter to reduce its service windows, according to director of communications Lynne Coker. The facility’s location was very important because Charter wanted to be accessible to as many of its customers as possible, Coker said. And with dynamic dispatching, service techs can be easily directed to other calls, reducing wait times for customers. The new facility also includes Charter’s largest Alabama warehouse, where the company will stock its priciest equipment, sending shipments to ancillary locations as needs arise. Charter plans to increase the number of employees it has in Birmingham, which now stands at about 200, but it’s unclear how many more will be added.

The retail center allows the company to show off its newest products and services. About 70% of Charter’s new business continues to come in through its call centers. But the retail center has been successful and traffic flow has been growing steadily since it opened April 27, Coker said. Retail employees can demonstrate the possibilities of digital products including digital video recorders, HDTV sets, video on demand and other services.

“We have retail centers in other Charter facilities, but none as comprehensive or as big as this one,” she said. “Customers have room to really experience the products, and the environment is inviting for them to take their time and really experiment with what we have to offer.”

Customers also can pay bills at the facility, or get tips on how to install equipment themselves. Charter now operates 14 retail locations throughout Alabama.