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Largest North American Telecommunications and Networking Firms Ranked on How They Treat Online Customers in Second Quarter 2005 Online Customer Respect Study.



BOSTON Boston, town, England
Boston, town (1991 pop. 26,495), E central England, on the Witham River. Boston's fame as a port dates from the 13th cent., when it was a Hanseatic port trading wool and wine. Having recovered from a decline in the 18th and 19th cent.
 -- Strong Improvements Result in Highest CRI CRI

constant-rate infusion.
 Industry Average to Date in 2005; But Work Still Needed With Sharing of Personal Data

The Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm Noun 1. consulting firm - a firm of experts providing professional advice to an organization for a fee
consulting company

business firm, firm, house - the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments; "he worked for a
 that focuses on how corporations treat their customers online, today released the results of its Second Quarter 2005 Online Customer Respect Study of North America's largest telecommunications Communicating information, including data, text, pictures, voice and video over long distance. See communications.  and networking firms.

Verizon Wireless Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, owns and operates the second largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States, based on total wireless customers.  did best in the Telecommunications category (and best overall), while Charter Communications Charter Communications NASDAQ: CHTR is an American company providing cable television, high-speed Internet, and telephone services to more than 5.7 million customers in 29 states. It is the third-largest publicly traded cable operator in the U.S.  fared worst. Ericsson Er·ics·son   , John 1803-1889.

American engineer and inventor who built the first ironclad warship, the Monitor (1862), which engaged the Confederate Merrimack in a famous naval battle of the Civil War (March 9, 1862).
 topped the Networking/Communications Equipment list, while Qualcomm (QUALCOMM Incorporated, San Diego, CA, www.qualcomm.com) A wireless communications and software company founded in 1985 by Dr. Irwin Jacobs. Originally involved in satellite tracking and fleet management, QUALCOMM has become widely known for its CDMA technology used in cellphones and  came in last. The most improved was CenturyTel CenturyTel, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) formerly named Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc. is a United States telecommunications firm, headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana. .

The study is the only one to bring objective measure to the analysis of corporate performance from an online customer's perspective. It assigns Individuals to whom property is, will, or may be transferred by conveyance, will, Descent and Distribution, or statute; assignees.

The term assigns is often found in deeds; for example, "heirs, administrators, and assigns to denote the assignable nature of
 a Customer Respect Index (CRI(TM)) rating to each company. The Customer Respect Index is a qualitative qualitative /qual·i·ta·tive/ (kwahl´i-ta?tiv) pertaining to quality. Cf. quantitative.

qualitative

pertaining to observations of a categorical nature, e.g. breed, sex.
 and quantitative quantitative /quan·ti·ta·tive/ (kwahn´ti-ta?tiv)
1. denoting or expressing a quantity.

2. relating to the proportionate quantities or to the amount of the constituents of a compound.
 in-depth in-depth
adj.
Detailed; thorough: an in-depth study.


in-depth
Adjective

detailed or thorough: an in-depth analysis

 analysis and independent measure of a customer's online experience when interacting with companies via the Internet Internet

Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the
. Scores of 8.0 and above are considered excellent and show an admirable ad·mi·ra·ble  
adj.
Deserving admiration.



admi·ra·ble·ness n.

ad
 level of Customer Respect.

By interviewing a representative sample of the adult Internet population, and by analyzing and categorizing more than 2000 corporate Web sites across a spectrum of industries in detail, The Customer Respect Group has determined the attributes that combine to create the entire online customer experience. These attributes have been grouped together and measured as indicators of Simplicity Simplicity is the property, condition, or quality of being simple or un-combined. It often denotes beauty, purity or clarity. Simple things are usually easier to explain and understand than complicated ones. Simplicity can mean freedom from hardship, effort or confusion.  (ease of navigation navigation, science and technology of finding the position and directing the course of vessels and aircraft. Early Navigational Techniques


In ancient times, mariners navigated by the guidance of the sun and stars and landmarks along the coast.
), Responsiveness responsiveness Medtalk The ability to respond to a stimulus. See Airway responsiveness.  (quick and helpful responses to inquiries), Privacy (respect for the privacy of the customer), Attitude (customer-focus of site), Transparency (1) The quality of being able to see through a material. The terms transparency and translucency are often used synonymously; however, transparent would technically mean "seeing through clear glass," while translucent would mean "seeing through frosted glass." See alpha blending.  (open and honest policies) and Principles (values and respects customer data). Combined they measure a company's overall Customer Respect.

Summary Results/Comparisons

Although a direct comparison is difficult because of the inclusion of industry-specific questions, the average CRI based on 660 surveys of corporate Web sites in various industries throughout 2004 was 5.9. Meanwhile, the firms in this study scored considerably better at 6.9, which is the highest overall industry average observed ob·serve  
v. ob·served, ob·serv·ing, ob·serves

v.tr.
1. To be or become aware of, especially through careful and directed attention; notice.

2.
 to date in 2005. In the last Telecom and Networking report in Q4 2004, this industry scored 6.4.

In the area of Responsiveness, only 17 percent of inquiries went unanswered by companies in this industry compared with an all-industry average of 27 percent in 2004. Moreover, from 2004 to 2005 the percentage of Telecom/Networking companies that didn't did·n't  

Contraction of did not.


didn't did not
didn't do
 respond to any inquiries dropped to 12 percent from 23 percent. Disappointingly dis·ap·point·ing  
adj.
Not up to expectations or hopes: a disappointing test score; finished the marathon in a disappointing 12th place.
 only 56 percent of the responses were judged to be helpful.

However, this industry did not compare favorably fa·vor·a·ble  
adj.
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.

2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.

3.
 to the overall 2004 average in every area. The percentage of Telecommunication telecommunication

Communication between parties at a distance from one another. Modern telecommunication systems—capable of transmitting telephone, fax, data, radio, or television signals—can transmit large volumes of information over long distances.
 and Networking companies that share personal data with business partners or third parties is 28 percent, four percentage points more than the all-industry average in 2004. It is however, much improved from the 49 percent recorded in the prior Telecom/Networking report.

"We very much like the direction in which the Telecom and Networking industries are moving with their Web sites," said Terry Golesworthy, president of The Customer Respect Group. "That said, we still see room for improvement in a number of areas, including Privacy. Consumers are very sensitive to having their data shared with others, and our research indicates that firms that don't don't  

1. Contraction of do not.

2. Nonstandard Contraction of does not.

n.
A statement of what should not be done: a list of the dos and don'ts.
 implement opt-in To purposefully accept some situation or condition ahead of time. For example, to opt-in to an e-mail campaign means that you want to receive periodic newsletters or information, which may include advertising from the publisher or third parties.  policies can expect to see a backlash. Moreover, while Responsiveness has improved in some areas, far too many responses were considered unhelpful."

The report conveys in great detail improvement opportunities for each company. The sector's Second Quarter 2005 rankings are as follows:
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Telecommunications Companies           URL                        CRI
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Verizon Wireless                       www.verizonwireless.com    8.5
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Nextel Communications, Inc.            www.nextel.com             8.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Sprint Corporation                     www.sprint.com             8.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
CenturyTel, Inc.                       www.centurytel.com         8.2
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
BT Group PLC                           www.bt.com                 8.1
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
T-Mobile USA, Inc.                     www.t-mobile.com           7.9
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Comcast Corporation                    www.comcast.com            7.8
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
MCI Inc.                               www.mci.com                7.7
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Rogers Communications Inc.             www.rogers.com             7.5
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Qwest Communications International     www.qwest.com
 Inc.                                                             7.4
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Bell Canada                            www.bell.ca                7.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Cable & Wireless                       www.cw.com/uk              7.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
O2 UK                                  www.o2.co.uk               7.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
TELUS Corporation                      www.telus.com              7.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Verizon Communications Inc.            www.verizon.com            7.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Vodafone Group                         www.vodafone.co.uk         7.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
AT&T Corp.                             www.att.com                7.2
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
ALLTEL Corporation                     www.alltel.com             7.1
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Cablevision Systems Corp.              www.cablevision.com        7.0
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
SBC Communications Inc.                www.sbc.com                7.0
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
BellSouth Corp.                        www.bellsouth.com          6.9
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Microcell Solutions Inc.               www.fido.ca                6.9
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Cox Communications, Inc.               www.cox.com                6.8
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Shaw Communications Inc.               www.shaw.ca                6.8
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
NTL group ltd.                         www.ntl.com                6.7
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
TDS Telecom                            www.tdstelecom.com         6.6
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Western Wireless Corporation           www.cellularonewest.com    6.5
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Level 3 Communications, Inc.           www.level3.com             6.2
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Cingular Wireless                      www.cingular.com           5.9
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Orange                                 www.orange.co.uk           5.8
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
IDT Corporation                        www.idt.net                5.6
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Primus Wireless                        www.primuswireless.com     5.0
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Charter Communications, Inc.           www.chartercom.com         4.8
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Sector Average                                                    6.9
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----

----------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Network and Other Communications Equipment                        CRI
----------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Ericsson                               www.ericcson.com           8.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Nortel Networks Limited                www.nortelnetworks.com     7.9
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Motorola, Inc.                         www.motorola.com           7.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Cisco Systems, Inc.                    www.cisco.com              7.2
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Juniper Networks                       www.juniper.net            7.2
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Siemens AG                             www.siemens.com            7.2
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Nokia Corporation                      www.nokia.com              7.0
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications    www.sonyericsson.com       7.0
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
3Com Corporation                       www.3com.com               6.9
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
D-link Corporation                     www.d-link.com             6.8
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
NETGEAR, Inc.                          www.netgear.com            6.8
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Linksys, A Division of Cisco Systems,  www.linksys.com
  Inc.                                                            6.7
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Alcatel                                www.alcatel.com            6.3
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Avaya Inc.                             www.avaya.com              5.1
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Lucent Technologies Inc.               www.lucent.com             5.0
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
Qualcomm Incorporated                  www.qualcomm.com           4.6
-------------------------------------- -------------------------- ----
                                       Sector average             6.7
                                       --------------------------


Other overall findings for all surveyed firms include the following:

--Some 35 percent of firms did not respond consistently or did not respond at all to online inquiries resulting in 17 percent of all online inquiries being ignored.

--Looking at all inquiries made, including those ignored, 60 percent were answered within a day of being sent, considered to be the time limit that consumers will accept. Taken one level further and looking at the nature of the response, 33.6 percent were responded within the day and were considered helpful.

--Some 32 percent of firms are either unclear or do share data with outside third parties or business partners.

--Only 27 percent of firms provide a full explanation about what advantage cookies that are installed provide to the user and what data they hold.

--After personal data is collected, 17 percent of sites provide no means to "opt out opt  
intr.v. opt·ed, opt·ing, opts
To make a choice or decision: opted for early retirement; opted not to go.
" of future marketing campaigns.

--Only 33 percent of firms always use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) The leading security protocol on the Internet. Developed by Netscape, SSL is widely used to do two things: to validate the identity of a Web site and to create an encrypted connection for sending credit card and other personal data.  or Https forms consistently to provide security when collecting personal data.

--Only 59% of the firms provide an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) A group of commonly asked questions about a subject along with the answers. Vendors often display them on their Web sites for use as troubleshooting guidelines. , site search and a site map to assist the customer self serve.

About The Customer Respect Group

The Customer Respect Group is an international research and consulting firm that uses its Customer Respect Index (CRI(TM)) methodology to help companies improve how they treat their customers online. It provides leadership in the objective and scientific measurement of a customer's online experience. Many of the largest U.S. companies have already adopted the CRI methodology to improve online customer satisfaction and loyalty. The Customer Respect Group is headquartered in Boston. For additional information, visit www.customerrespect.com, call 617-378-3173 or email info@customerrespect.com.

All companies and products listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 16, 2005
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