Cox, Time Warner Cable Rank Highest in J.D Power Business Customer Survey

Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable ranked at the top of a recent J.D. Power and Associates business wireline customer survey, with cable providers taking four of the top five spots in the very small business segment.

According to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study, overall satisfaction with their telecom service is higher among business customers who bundle their voice and data services.

Cox rated highest in the very small and small/medium-sized business categories, with a score of 700, according to the survey, and did particularly well in performance and reliability and billing. Cable companies fared best in the very small business segment, no surprise at that category has been a primary focus for most MSOs. Cablevision Systems’ Optimum Business service placed second in the segment with a 686 score, followed by Charter Communications (670) and Comcast (667).

Cox also led the small/medium-sized business segment with a score of 715, beating out Verizon Communication’s score of 685.

Time Warner Cable led the large enterprise category with an overall satisfaction score of 705, edging out Verizon’s 693 score. According to the study, TWC performed particularly well in five of the six factors: performance and reliability; billing; sales representatives and account executives; cost of service and customer service.

Satisfaction scores for bundled customers averaged about 668, according to the survey, vs. 660 for data-only customers and 653 for voice-only subscribers. Average performance in four of six factors (performance and reliability; sales reps and account execs; billing; and communications) is highest among customers bundling their services.

The desire to bundle is increasing. According to J.D. Power, in 2013 15% of customers cited the ability to bundle as being the main reason for selecting their provider, compared to 6% in 2012. Additionally, business customers that bundle data and voice services are less likely to contact their service provider with customer service needs, which can lower overhead for providers, the survey said. These customers are also the most loyal to their service provider, with 21% saying they "definitely will not" switch providers in the next 12 months -- a higher percentage than any other group, according to the study.

"Bundling offers businesses the convenience of having a single contact and bill for multiple services, which streamlines and simplifies the company's day-to-day telecom management," J. D. Power senior director of telecommunications services Kirk Parsons said in a statement. "In many cases, businesses experience a cost savings, as most wireline providers will offer incentives to customers who bundle services. Combined, these factors contribute to a more satisfied and loyal customer."

The 2013 Business Wireline Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 4,784 business customers of data and voice services at very small, small/medium, and large enterprise businesses in the United States and includes evaluations of their data and voice service providers. The study was fielded in October 2012 and March 2013.