Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Study Shows Perceived Customer Service Driving Market Share

August 09, 2007

For those companies that are keeping customer service as a top priority to drive profitability, many are finding their efforts to be well focused. According to a study released by CFI Group, telephone companies are better positioned than cable providers to attract customers taking advantage of bundled-services offers over the next 12 months.

This positioning is being driven by phone providers’ ability to deliver better customer service. At least that is what customers perceive in the call center customer service deliverables of telephone companies.

The CFI study was compiled from a panel of 1,200 respondents, selected to reflect national demographics. The study, the Telecom-Cable Industry Report, found that 20 percent of respondents were highly likely to purchase a bundle of services in the next 12 months and 54 percent revealed that they would seek those products from the local telephone provider, while 44 percent would look to cable.

The results of this survey indicate that cable companies will be losing customers to telephone companies. Of those polled, 50 percent already buy bundled services and cable currently has the majority of package customers at 68 percent, versus 32 percent for telephone companies.

Although customer service via the call center is a key element of consideration, the number one reason to switch providers from cable is that the current operator costs too much, according to survey results from 69 percent of those polled. Another 43 percent cited poor customer service.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, compiled by the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, revealed that telephone companies outrank cable providers in all service categories. As competitive as this industry is, the service performance of each will likely drive their performance.

Survey respondents were asked about their current service provider and Bright House Networks customers indicated that they were the least likely to switch at only 15 percent. Cablevision Systems (News - Alert) appeared to be the most vulnerable as 25 percent of its customers revealed that they might switch.

Verizon (News - Alert) Communications is presenting Cablevision with stiff competition throughout the New York-New Jersey market. Verizon is deploying FiOS high-speed Internet and television services. Telco customers were 11 percent to 19 percent likely to switch, depending on the provider.

Rates for service also contribute to the desire to switch among broadband customers, although this challenge applies to both major providers. What these providers often fail to realize is that customers aren’t as likely to switch providers if they feel the service is of an exceptional level.

If these providers were to put a customer-centric focus in their call and contact centers, they will be much better positioned to protect their customer base and take customers away from the competition. Until this focus is a priority, rates will continue to drive purchase decisions for the customer.
 
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
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