Cablevision Systems’ Optimum Business unit topped the charts in recent J.D. Power rankings of business services in both categories in which it was considered: home-based businesses and the SMB market. Verizon took top honors in the enterprise market.

The recession led customers in all segments to look for ways to decrease their bills, and the ability to find resolutions for customers was a big contributor to customer satisfaction in the last year.

“In 2008, the economic situation in the United States was a key factor in driving 39 percent of small/midsize and large enterprise businesses to contact their provider with billing questions and concerns much more frequently,” said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates. “By proactively addressing billing concerns and moving customers to more competitive pricing plans, the industry was able to improve cost of service and billing scores, despite the general industry challenges.”

In the home business category, Cablevision Optimum Voice outscored competitive services from (in rank order) Verizon, AT&T, Embarq, Qwest, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

In the small/midsize business market, Optimum Business ranked highest in satisfying customers with local telephone services, and by a wider margin than in the home business category. The next nearest was AT&T, followed by Qwest, Verizon and Embarq.

Verizon ranks highest among customers in the large enterprise business segment, followed by AT&T, Embarq and Qwest.

The study measures customer satisfaction with providers of local telephone services. Providers are ranked in three segments: home-based businesses (companies based in a residential location with one to five employees); small/midsize businesses (companies with two to 499 employees); and large enterprise businesses (companies with 500 or more employees). Five factors are used to measure satisfaction across all three segments: performance and reliability, billing, cost of service, offerings and promotions, and customer service. A sixth factor – sales representatives/account executives – is included for small/midsize businesses and large enterprise businesses.

J.D. Power noted a decline in satisfaction scores in the small/midsize and large enterprise business segments between 2007 and 2008, but said overall satisfaction among small/midsize businesses increased considerably in 2009. Conversely, scores among businesses in the large enterprise segment have remained flat.

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