Cable dominates voice customer satisfaction study

Wed, 09/10/2008 - 8:20am
Traci Patterson

The majority of U.S. voice customers (80 percent) continue to use the telephone for inquiries regarding their voice service, while only 16 percent use their provider’s Web site; but according to a new J.D. Power and Associates study, voice customers who use the Web for customer service have higher satisfaction.

On average, satisfaction averages 641 on a 1,000-point scale among Web users, compared with 626 for telephone users, the study found.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Residential Telephone Customer Satisfaction Study measured customer satisfaction with both local and long-distance telephone service. Five factors were examined in determining overall satisfaction; in order of importance, they are: customer service, performance and reliability, cost of service, billing, and offerings and promotions.

And for the second year in a row, cable TV providers dominated the highest-ranking positions in all four regions examined in the study.

Cablevision ranked highest in the East Region, performing well in customer service, cost of service, billing, and offerings and promotions. Bright House Networks ranked highest in the South Region, and WideOpenWest (WOW!) ranked highest in the North Central Region, with both performing well in the same categories as Cablevision. And Cox Communications ranked highest in the West Region, outperforming all other providers in the region in all factors driving customer satisfaction.

“According to our market intelligence research on social and consumer-generated online media, customers perceive that cable companies in particular have an advantage when it comes to providing Internet-based telephone service,” said Jeff Taylor, director for J.D. Power and Associates’ Web Intelligence Research Division. “Customers often cite the strength of cable’s existing network infrastructure as a key reason for trusting cable providers with their telephone service.”

The study found that overall satisfaction was higher among customers who bundle two or more services with one provider, compared with customers subscribing to phone service alone. Satisfaction among triple-play customers was 23 index points higher than among those customers subscribing to just phone service.

“In an increasingly competitive market where providers are constantly seeking ways to better manage the costs associated with service support, promoting Web sites as a viable service channel instead of traditional telephone-based support can create significant cost savings,” said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates. “The good news is that customers are responding positively to the Web option. Voice provider Web sites offer customers useful ways to manage their billing needs, review their account information, and explore available product and service offerings.”

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• Cable dominates voice customer satisfaction study

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