WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 13 June 2013 — Overall satisfaction with their telecommunications service provider is higher among business wireline customers who bundle their voice and data services, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction StudySM released today.
- Forty percent of customers have not experienced any instances of slow network performance during the past 6 months.
- Among customers who bundle services, the average overall satisfaction score is 668.
- Network quality is more important than ever, as customers who experience only one service outage consider switching providers.
The study measures customer satisfaction with providers of telecommunications voice and data services in three segments: very small businesses (companies with between one and 19 employees, with a corporate service plan); small/medium businesses (companies with between 20 and 499 employees); and large enterprise businesses (companies with 500 or more employees). Satisfaction is measured across six factors: performance and reliability (23%); cost of service (21%); sales representatives and account executives (19%); billing (14%); communications (14%); and customer service (10%). In 2013, overall customer satisfaction averages 661 (on a 1,000-point scale).
The ability of business wireline customers to bundle their voice and data services has an impact on overall satisfaction and customer loyalty. Among business customers bundling their services, satisfaction is 668, compared with 660 among those purchasing only data services from a single provider, and 653 among those purchasing only voice services from a single provider. Average performance in four of six factors (performance and reliability; sales reps and account execs; billing; and communications) is highest among customers bundling their services.
According to the study, wireline business customers' desire to bundle services is increasing. In 2013, 15 percent of customers indicate that their main reason for selecting their provider was the ability to bundle services, up from 6 percent in 2012. Along with lower price, the convenience and simplification of service bundling is also driving purchase decisions as to which company to choose. Additionally, business customers that bundle data and voice services are less likely to contact their service provider with customer service needs, which can lower overhead for providers. These customers are also the most loyal to their service provider, with 21 percent saying they "definitely will not" switch providers in the next 12 months—a higher percentage than any other group.
"Bundling offers businesses the convenience of having a single contact and bill for multiple services, which streamlines and simplifies the company's day-to-day telecom management," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power. "In many cases, businesses experience a cost savings, as most wireline providers will offer incentives to customers who bundle services. Combined, these factors contribute to a more satisfied and loyal customer."
Performance and reliability of the network remains a crucial component in ensuring business customer satisfaction. Among business customers that purchase voice services and that experience more than one lengthy outage, 32 percent indicate they are likely to switch providers in the next 12 months, while only 10 percent of those that experience no outages indicate they will switch. Among business customers that purchase data services and that experience lengthy outages, the percentage indicating they are likely to switch providers in the next 12 months is more than double that among those that do not experience lengthy outages (24% vs. 10%, respectively).
The study finds that overall satisfaction among business customers that purchase data services and that have experienced slow network performance at least once within the past 6 months is 615, compared with 725 among those that did not experience any slow network performance.
"While network quality and speed are better than ever, business customer expectations are higher than they've ever been," said Parsons. "The occasional service outage or slow network that was once acceptable is now sufficient motivation for customers to seek alternative data and voice providers because it is so critical to business continuity."
Business Wireline Customer Satisfaction Results
Cox ranks highest in customer satisfaction in both the very small business and small/medium business segments, performing particularly well in performance and reliability, and billing. Optimum Business follows Cox in the very small business segment, while Verizon ranks second in the small/medium business segment.
In the large enterprise business segment, Time Warner Cable ranks highest in overall satisfaction and performs particularly well in five of the six factors: performance and reliability; billing; sales representatives and account executives; cost of service; and customer service.
The 2013 Business Wireline Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,784 business customers of data and voice services at very small, small/medium, and large enterprise businesses in the United States and includes evaluations of their data and voice service providers. The study was fielded in October 2012 and March 2013.
About J.D. Power
J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw-Hill Financial.
About McGraw Hill Financial
McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.
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