May 16, 2019
By John Malone, President and CEO, Eastern Management Group
Hosted PBX providers are just waiting to sell new systems to business customers. Some of these vendors are exceptional, others acceptable, and more than a handful are no better than just OK. Ferreting out the best is a whole lot easier when thousands of IT manager customers rate their vendor for all to see.
Customer Satisfaction Research
In a new PBX global customer satisfaction study, the Eastern Management Group had 3,000 IT manager customers judge their providers on 10 customer satisfaction measurements, in three groups:
ProductMeasurements: Technology & Product, Reliability and Management Tools
Vendor ExperienceMeasurements: Purchase Experience, Installation, Support and Contact Center Experience
Customer DelightMeasurements: Value, Overall Satisfaction and Recommend to a Friend
I’ll focus on Recommend to a Friend, one of the 10 customer satisfaction measurements and arguably the one most important to customers. The two UCaaS vendors receiving the highest customer scores for Recommend to a Friend were RingCentral and Nextiva.
Our study evaluated 23 widely used vendors of hosted and cloud systems. The full research results are in our report: 2018 Premises and Hosted PBX Customer Satisfaction.
Hosted and Cloud Systems
Digium and Sangoma
Recommend to a Friend Leaders
Eastern Management Group considers Recommend To A Friend the capstone measurement in the customer satisfaction study. It is a customer distinction, a pledge of confidence and loyalty to their vendor.
Nextiva — Designed for SMBs looking for a UCaaS system, a visit to the Nextiva web site shows the emphasis on value. The price per seat is affordable for even small businesses – many Nextiva customers have just one or two employees.
Nextiva has made a smart move into a largely untapped market; as our research shows 52% of U.S. businesses are home-based. Nextiva also has a significant number of customers whose businesses range from 50-100 employees. Small business target-marketing places Nextiva smack-dab in the largest UCaaS systems marketplace.
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Customers give Nextiva an exceptionally high net promoter score (NPS), a recognition that may instill confidence in small businesses that may yet be unfamiliar with Nextiva.
Nextiva received top honors in 4 of 10 UCaaS Customer Satisfaction Measurements.
RingCentral — I recently attended a trade show where RingCentral showcased some of the numerous accolades bestowed on the company: first in this, best in that. Customers like doing business with RingCentral, and profess this sentiment openly.
In our survey, RingCentral took top honors in …
… four of 10 Customer Satisfaction Measurements. It turned in a remarkably high Net Promoter Score (NPS) regarding customer affection.
RingCentral has a number of customers with up to 100 employees. According to customers, companies with staff ranging from one employee to 100 can feel comfortable buying from RingCentral.
Larger businesses, with staff of 100 and 500 employees, are increasingly adopting RingCentral due to its ability to integrate multiple locations within one phone system. According to the Eastern Management Group’s market study Worldwide Hosted PBX Market 2018-2024, midmarket customers account for 35% and enterprises 5% of new RingCentral sales.
Support, Contact Center Experience Important
Purchasing any PBX begins a long-term commitment to a vendor. In exchange, the provider is expected to deliver a stellar cradle-to-grave customer experience. The journey is persistently tested in the Customer Satisfaction Measurements of Support and Contact Center Experience.
We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.
Of our 10 customer satisfaction measurements, Contact Center Experience and Support are the two most difficult for vendors to master. Poor scores in either have disastrous consequences reflected in the Recommend To A Friend scores.
Contact Center Experience is a sustained litmus test for evaluating the provider’s customer service delivery that, at times, can be pushed to punishing levels. It’s a difficult measurement in which to perform well.
Support is more than what occurs in the contact center. Customers say support begins with system configuration and continues to the vendor’s first bill support, ongoing billing support, overall phone support, customer-initiated online trouble ticketing and the customer portal.
Nextiva and RingCentral soared above the overall industry average in both Contact Center Experience and Support.
We think of the three Customer Satisfaction Measurements in this piece, and the seven not addressed, as vital tools for buyer decision making. The report was developed using more than 3,500 customer surveys with IT managers, Eastern Management Group’s proprietary customer satisfaction data model, data tabulation, and analysis for all the premises and hosted PBX providers.
For more information about the Eastern Management Group reports “2018 PBX Customer Satisfaction” and “Worldwide Hosted PBX Market 2018-2024”, please ask our researchers or contact John Malone directly at [email protected].
John Malone is president and CEO of the Eastern Management Group, a communications industry research company, and the author of three book for young readers. In addition to Eastern Management, he founded two other software and database management companies. He has served on the board of directors of numerous publicly traded and private technology companies. Malone has managed thousands of the company’s research assignments for major technology businesses and service providers worldwide. He is a former executive with AT&T, where he developed the world’s first call center. He earned his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of Dayton. Follow Malone on @temgworldwide or LinkedIn.
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