A new study has given Comcast the highest customer service ranking among telecommunications companies, and Motorola the highest ranking for networking equipment vendors. The study also found that telecommunications and networking firms generally treat their online customers well, although there remains room for improvement.
The Customer Respect Group analyzes companies' online responsiveness, attitude, simplicity and respect for customer privacy and assigns a Customer Respect Index (CRI) rating between one and ten. In its Fourth Quarter 2004 Online Customer Respect Study, the Group found that, on the whole, networking and telecommunications companies scored a slightly higher CRI of 6.4 than the overall average of 6.2 for Fortune 100 companies.
Overall, the telecommunications sector had an average CRI of 6.6, with Comcast the online customer service leader with score of 8.3. However, behind the good news for Comcast is the fact that telecommunications carriers were also the lowest rated of the 36 companies analyzed. Cincinnati Bell, for example, scored a CRI of 3.4. However, there were signs of improvement for some companies, with AT&T and Nextel improving their rankings by 11 and 24 places, respectively.
According to Customer Respect Group president Terry Golesworthy, the Web is the only medium that makes effective one-to-one marketing possible, making online customer service a significant issue. He noted that there was room for improvement. "Customers expect to find answers quickly, be it through content available on the site or through email inquiries," Golesworthy said in a statement. "If telecom and networking firms are not equipped to deal with such inquiries or customers fear information provided to Web sites is exploited, it will directly affect the brand loyalty and their future business."