Cablevision Systems' Optimum Business data service ranked the highest in satisfaction among home-based businesses and small and midsize commercial customers on J.D. Power & Associates' 2009 study on business telecommunications.
Verizon Communications, meanwhile, ranked highest among customers in the large enterprise business segment, according to the study, which was released Thursday.
In the home-based business segment, new in J.D. Power's 2009 study, Optimum Business had an index score of 654 on a 1,000-point scale. The research company said Optimum Business performed particularly well on performance and reliability, as well as offerings and promotions. In that category, Cox Communications ranked second, with a score of 637, followed by Embarq with 629.
Cablevision's Optimum Business also was No. 1 in the small/midsize business segment with a score of 673, with J.D. Power highlighting its strong performance on four of the six factors driving satisfaction: sales representatives/account executives; billing; cost of service; and offerings and promotions. Cox again took the second-place spot with a score of 669, while AT&T was third with 632.
In the large enterprise business segment, Verizon ranked highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 694, performing particularly well in five factors: performance and reliability; sales representatives/account executives; customer service; cost of service; and offerings and promotions. Time Warner Cable followed Verizon in the segment with 677.
Overall satisfaction among both small/midsize and enterprise customers increased in 2009 after a sharp year-over-year decline in 2008, according to J.D. Power.
The increase was driven by improvements in the billing and customer service factors. For example, better service tools and better-prepared customer service representatives have improved problem resolution during the first contact to 56%, compared with less than 40% in 2008, according to the research firm.
"Providers have taken major steps to improve customer service since the 2008 study, and those investments are beginning to pay off," Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power, said in a statement.
J.D. Power's 2009 major provider business telecommunications study is based on responses from 4,252 business customers with telecommunications data services at home-based, small/midsize and large enterprise business in the U.S. and includes evaluation of their data service providers. The study was fielded in January and April 2009.