Performance, reliability and connection speed problems declined from last year as TV and Internet service providers (ISPs) continue to upgrade networks, according to three U.S. wireline studies released September 25 by J.D. Power.
Surveying residential customers’ experiences with TV, Internet and phone services across four regions, J.D. Power’s annual studies evaluate overall customer satisfaction based on five factors: performance and reliability, cost of service, programming (for TV only), billing, communication, and customer service. Providers are ranked on a 1,000-point scale.
“The ability to provide a high-quality experience with all wireline services is paramount as performance and reliability is the most critical driver of overall satisfaction,” Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power, was quoted in a press release.
“While customers may be leveraging the same network or connection across multiple services, their experience can be different given the equipment type, connection to the home, service plans used and the different activities performed on each.”
Service providers that better understand customers’ evolving needs “will be better positioned to provide a more satisfying customer experience,” Parsons added, “which can lead to higher levels of overall satisfaction and higher rates of retention, advocacy, and return on investment.”
TV Service Findings
Additional key findings from the TV Service Provider Satisfaction Study include:
- DIRECTV and Verizon FiOS rank highest (tying at 738) in TV customer satisfaction in the East region; AT&T U-verse (750) ranks highest in the North Central region; Verizon FiOS (751) ranks highest in the South region; and DISH Network (739) ranks highest in the West region.
- Satisfaction with performance and reliability has improved to 743 in 2014, an increase of 17 points from 726 in 2013.
- Customers experience fewer television service quality problems in 2014. For example, 31 percent of customers have experienced picture freezing in the past 3 months, down from 38 percent in 2013. Moreover, just 46 percent of customers have experienced a temporary loss of signal, a decrease from 51 percent year over year.
- Slightly fewer customers have experienced a television outage in 2014, compared with 2013 (28% vs. 30%, respectively). That 2 percent improvement positively impacts overall satisfaction by 89 points among customers who do not experience an outage, compared with those who do experience one.
Internet Customer Satisfaction
Highlights of the Residential ISP Satisfaction Study:
- Verizon ranks highest in ISP customer satisfaction in the East (712) and South (725) regions; WOW! (Wide Open West) scores 728, ranking highest in the North Central region; and AT&T (704) ranks highest in the West region.
- Satisfaction with performance and reliability has improved to 700 in 2014, an increase of 37 points from 663 in 2011.
- ISPs have reduced the average number of website connection errors experienced by customers in the past 3 months to 2.9 from 4.4 in 2013, a 35 percent improvement. Providers have also reduced general service outages by 31 percent year over year (1.1 vs. 1.6, respectively).
- Customers have experienced fewer Internet speed problems, with just 2.1 instances of excessively slow loading during the past 3 months, compared with 3.0 in 2013.
Key takeaways from the Residential Telephone Service Provider Satisfaction Study:
- AT&T (740) ranks highest in telephone customer satisfaction in the East region; WOW! (Wide Open West) scores 767, ranking highest in the North Central region; Bright House Networks (751) ranks highest in the South region; and Cox Communications (739) ranks highest in the West region.
- Overall satisfaction with performance and reliability is 754, up from 749 in 2013.
- The incidence of general outages with phone service has declined, affecting 17 percent of households in 2014, compared with 21 percent in 2013.