Internet Service and TV Service Lack Customer Experience

This post examines the 11 Internet service providers and the 10 TV service providers included in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings.

While the study rated 21 organization across both the TV and Internet services space, only three companies received “okay” ratings: Bright House Networks (TV), Dish Network (TV), and Cablevision (Internet). Fifteen of the companies were rated “poor” and three received “very poor” ratings: Charter Communications (TV), Charter Communications (Internet), and EarthLink (Internet).

The average customer experience ratings for the TV services and Internet services industries placed them 16th and 17th, respectively, out of 18 industries in the study. The only companies to score lower were health plans. Out of all 206 companies in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, EarthLink and Charter Communications were the two lowest rated companies and eight of the bottom 19 companies came from these two industries.

Temkin Group analyzed the changes between 2011 and 2012 and found that customer experience made a modest improvement in the TV services industry but had a slight decline with Internet service providers. Seven companies saw their Temkin Experience Ratings increase by more than five percentage points: Cablevision (Internet), Comcast (Internet), AOL (Internet), Dish Network  (TV), Bright House Networks (TV), DirecTV (TV), and Comcast (TV). Only one company had a decline of more than five percentage points: Cox Communications (Internet).

Do you want to see the data? Go to the Temkin Ratings website where you can sort through all of the results for free. You can even purchase the underlying data if you want to get more access.

The bottom line: Terrible customer experience is an epidemic within Internet services and TV services

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

3 Responses to Internet Service and TV Service Lack Customer Experience

  1. Cheryl Lucia says:

    The number of Americans who pay for television service is dropping. In part, the decline in customers reflects the weak economy, but more than that it reflects a significant move to internet viewing. Given this shift of loyalty it would seem that the internet service providers would step up to meet the needs of a new customer base and the television service providers would step up in an attempt to hold on to remaining customers. Neither appears to have a driving desire to accommodate their customers. The percentages, all far below a rating of excellence, demonstrates a lackadaisical attitude toward providing quality service. Perhaps, knowing customers have such a strong inclination to watching television and internet content, television and internet providers feel their customers will stay no matter how they treat them. Is it a matter of, “You can’t live without us so we can treat you any way we want?” If that’s the case, it’s disquieting to think any service centric company would not strive to provide a quality product and service.

  2. kbobelly says:

    I don’t think its a surprise that the lowest industries (TV/internet service and healthcare) are the industries with the lowest amount of customer choice. Living in the NYC area, your internet and television provider are entirely determined by where you live. For example, I have Cablevision not because I like the experience I receive, but because it is the only provider servicing my apartment. Similarly, my healthcare choice is dictated to me by my employer – it is not a choice. Since these industries have less of a worry about customer retention, they don’t have to worry as much about customer experience. The customers who rated highest in this study (retail, food, etc) are those with the highest amount of customer choice and highest need for customer retention. The goal of a great experience is customer acquisition and customer retention, so until these industries need to worry about those numbers, I don’t think we’ll see much of an improvement.

  3. mcgntr says:

    I had no problem with my Verizon FIOS service until the beginning of this year. A recurring TV reception problem popped up. It took 6 weeks, 10 interactions – phone, store, onsite- to solve the problem and about 40 hours of my time. Systemic and service problems and varied quality of interactions. My experience certainly supports your ratings. Kbobelly’s comments about choice are interesting in that he has no choice. I am in a town that provides both FIOS and Comcast…looking at Temkin ratings its still no choice given service quality. However, in my town because there are two providers, retention matters to both providers. Sporadically, we get door-to-door callers in the ‘hood seeking to change our minds and services. Kbobelly may still be correct in this industry even when competition exists. One of my FIOS techs commented that the “suits” occasionally ask them what ‘customers’ say — if the ‘suits’ don’t listen to the frontline then improvement is unlikely.

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