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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 25, 2014

Satellite, Telcos Top TV Customer Satisfaction Index

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

TV providers aren’t known for their stellar customer satisfaction ratings, but results are nevertheless in from the latest J.D. Powers rankings, showing that satellite and telcos are doing the best in the field. Cablecos on the other hand continue to struggle.

DirecTV (News - Alert) and Verizon FiOS rank highest (in a tie) in TV customer satisfaction in the East region; AT&T U-verse ranks highest in the North Central region; Verizon FiOS (News - Alert) snags the title in the South region; and DISH Network (739) ranks highest in the West region.

In an encouraging statistic, across the board, satisfaction with performance and reliability has improved to 743 in 2014, an increase of 17 points from 726 in 2013.

This can be chalked up to the fact that customers have experienced fewer television service quality problems in 2014. For example, 31 percent of customers have experienced picture freezing in the past three 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.

Also, slightly fewer customers have experienced a television outage in 2014, compared with 2013 (28 percent vs. 30 percent, 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.

Satisfaction rankings don’t exist in a vacuum, however; operators need to look at their customer experience metrics holistically, across multiple services.

"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," said Kirk Parsons (News - Alert), senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power. "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."

According to Parsons, as expectations regarding usage, performance quality and reliability continue to evolve, companies that understand these dynamics will be better positioned to provide a more satisfying customer experience, which can lead to higher levels of overall satisfaction and higher rates of retention, advocacy and return on investment.

Accordingly, looking at broadband rankings, Verizon ranks highest in ISP customer satisfaction in the East and South regions; WOW! ranks highest in the North Central region; and AT&T (News - Alert) ranks highest in the West.

Satisfaction with performance and reliability on the ISP front has improved to 700 in 2014, an increase of 37 points from 663 in 2011, as they have reduced the average number of Website connection errors experienced by customers in the past three 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), and 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.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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