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Small Businesses Face Longer Customer Service Hold Times; Less Likely to Have Dedicated Account Reps

COSTA MESA, Calif.: 20 July 2017 — Small businesses are significantly less satisfied with their telecom providers than large enterprise customers. According to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study,SM released today, small business customers face longer customer service wait times, lower problem resolution rates and less dedicated account support, all of which contribute to lower overall satisfaction with their telecom providers.

“The small business telecom customer experience is very similar to the residential customer experience vs. large enterprise customers who are receiving a much higher level of dedicated service,” said Peter Cunningham, technology, media & telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power. “That’s weighing heavily on relative levels of customer satisfaction. Reshaping the account representative model for the small business customer may hold the answer to this challenge. Customers who know they can call a dedicated representative are much more satisfied than those who blindly call into a call center and spend too much time on hold.”

The study measures overall satisfaction among three key segments: very small business (1-19 employees); small/midsize (20-499 employees); and large enterprise (500 or more employees). Satisfaction is measured across six factors: performance and reliability; cost of service; communications; sales representatives and account executives; billing; and customer service. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Following are some of the study’s key findings:

  • Overall satisfaction scores significantly lower for small businesses: Overall satisfaction with business wireline services is 729 in the very small business segment; 787 in the small/midsize business segment; and 815 in the large enterprise segment.
  • Communication, cost and customer service drive rift: The widest gaps in satisfaction between large enterprise businesses and very small businesses are in communication (804 vs. 701, respectively); cost of service (789 vs. 672); and customer service (818 vs. 695). The average customer service hold time is 5.3 minutes for large enterprise customers; 5.9 minutes for small/midsize business customers; and 8.9 minutes for very small business customers.
  • Dedicated account support key to happier customers: Customers who have an account representative assigned to their business have notably higher levels of overall satisfaction (834) than those who contact a general call center (751). Customers with a representative also have a more positive brand image of their provider and are more likely to characterize their telecom company as customer focused. Large enterprise customers are most likely to have an account representative (61%), followed by small/midsize business customers (41%) and very small business customers (12%).
  • Role for mobile app: Across all business segments, billing satisfaction is notably higher among customers who view their bill using a mobile app or text message (873), compared with those who use a website or email (838) or traditional paper bill (824). Still, just 17% of business customers use a mobile app or text message to view their bills.

In the large enterprise business segment, Verizon ranks highest with an overall score of 821. Verizon also ranks highest in the small/midsize business segment (816) and in the very small business segment (762).

The 2017 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 3,102 business customers of data and voice services in the United States and includes evaluations of their data and voice service providers. The study was fielded from April to June 2017.

For more information about the 2017 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-business-wireline-satisfaction-study.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.

Media Relations Contacts

Geno Effler; Costa Mesa, Calif.; 714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com

John Roderick; St. James, N.Y.; 631-584-2200; john@jroderick.com

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Media Contacts:

Geno Effler

Costa Mesa, California

(714) 621-6224

media.relations@jdpa.com