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July 6, 2023
The analytics company just unveiled its 2023 Business Wireline Satisfaction Study, which showed improvements across the board in how MSOs and ILECs are serving their customers. Small business customers in particular appear happier than ever with their telcos and cablecos, in an era where service providers are increasingly changing their go-to-market programs to attract SMBs.
More than 5,100 business voice and data customers weighed in on how their wireline providers are treating them. They rated their suppliers based on performance/reliability, cost, communications, interactions with sales reps and account executives, billing and customer service.
J.D. Power managing director Ian Greenblatt said the study showed how enterprises, medium-size businesses and small businesses vary drastically from one another in terms of their demands and pain points. Business wireline providers are pivoting to specifically cater to different segments, Greenblatt said.
J.D. Power’s Ian Greenblatt
“Specifically, we see that small business customers quickly want to be informed of outages, why they were caused and that their provider is on top of it. Medium business customers need efficiency, specifically with access to bill pay on mobile apps and customer service contact. Large enterprise customers are receiving provider communications in their preferred format and although they say receiving fewer communications this year than last, they are just as likely to say the frequency as ‘just right,’” Greenblatt said. “Business customer service cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach; flexibility and resiliency [are] key to continuing an increase in satisfaction.”
AT&T continued its dominance among wireline providers in J.D. Power’s largest business segment: large enterprise (500-plus employees). The provider took the top spot for the sixth consecutive year.
That’s a 16-point jump from last year for Ma Bell. The overall segment average improved from 860 to 873. Verizon went up 15 points, and Cox (third) rose by 13. Comcast Business increased by a whopping 20 points, leapfrogging Spectrum. Even CenturyLink, in eighth place, went from 791 points to 815 points.
The large enterprise list also featured two newcomers. Optimum Business, brand of Altice USA, scored fourth. Newly spun off ILEC business Brightspeed, which came out of Lumen/CenturyLink, scored just a touch above CenturyLink in seventh place.
For medium business (20-499 employees), AT&T came out on top, just inching out Verizon, which won last year. AT&T finished third in this segment in 2022, behind Cox Business. However, Cox dropped 18 points to fifth, also overtaken by Spectrum and Brightspeed. Spectrum registered a massive 33-point increase, going from the bottom of the ranking to fourth. CenturyLink, on the other hand, dropped 23 points to last.
The overall medium business segment improved in average satisfaction by 14 points.
Verizon retained its dominance in the small business category (fewer than 20 employees). The vendor has taken this prize four straight years, and this time it improved in a big way, going from 792 satisfaction points to 828. The whole segment grew in overall satisfaction by 30 points.
AT&T again leapfrogged some rivals, going from fourth to second thanks to a 45-point improvement. CenturyLink improved over last year but fell from second to third among wireline providers. Massive improvements came from Comcast (up 40 points) and Spectrum (up 22 points). Every provider improved over their 2022 performance.
Read more about:Agents
Senior News Editor, Channel Futures
James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.
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