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TELEPHONE COMPANIES AND ACCOUNTING FIRMS ACHIEVE TOP SERVICE QUALITY RATINGS FROM LOCAL CEOs; HEALTH CARE SERVICES, BANKS AMONG LOWEST-RATED

TELEPHONE COMPANIES AND ACCOUNTING FIRMS ACHIEVE TOP SERVICE QUALITY
    RATINGS FROM LOCAL CEOs; HEALTH CARE SERVICES, BANKS AMONG LOWEST-RATED
    MALVERN, Pa., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- October is National Quality Month and what better time to examine how service quality in seven leading industries measures up.
    In a recent survey by Madway Business Research, Inc., 336 Philadelphia-area CEOs were asked to rate the quality of service provided to businesses by banks, accountants, lawyers, advertising agencies, insurance companies, health care companies, and telephone service companies.
    According to the survey, telephone service companies rank first in service quality followed by accounting firms, while insurance companies are at the bottom of the list.
    As shown in Table 1, approximately two-thirds (65 percent) of the CEOs participating in the survey rate the service provided by phone companies favorably, and over half (54 percent) rate accounting firms favorably.  Roughly one in 10 CEOs have an unfavorable opinion of the quality of service provided by phone companies (14 percent) and accounting firms (12 percent).
    In contrast, approximately two-fifths of the CEOs rate health care companies (38 percent), banks (44 percent) and insurance companies (41 percent) unfavorably.  These figures are far higher than the percentage of CEOs with favorable impressions of these industries. Similarly, almost two-fifths of the CEOs (38 percent) have an unfavorable impression of law firms.  However, the gap between the unfavorable and favorable ratings for law firms is not nearly as high as for the health care, banking and insurance industries.
    The perception of the advertising industry among local CEOs is essentially neutral:  the favorable and unfavorable ratings for ad agencies are approximately the same.  A sizable percentage of CEOs have no clear impression of the quality of service provided by ad agencies; over one-quarter of the CEOs (27 percent) responded "Don't Know" when asked to evaluate ad agencies, which is much higher than the "Don't Know" response for any of the other industries Madway examined.
    Opinions Vary With Company Size
    Analyzing differences in the ratings based on company size reveals some significant distinctions between the opinions of CEOs of smaller companies and CEOs of larger firms.  As shown in Table 2, telephone companies rank first in service quality among CEOs of companies with 100 or less employees, while accounting firms rank first among CEOs of firms with 101 to 300 employees.  Among CEOs of firms with more than 300 employees, telephone companies and accounting firms are tied for first; however, the favorable ratings for both of these industries are considerably lower among this group of CEOs than among CEOs of smaller companies.
    Health care companies and insurance companies fare poorly among CEOs of companies with 100 or less employees and CEOs of firms with more than 300 employees.  In fact, the unfavorable rating for health care companies among CEOs of companies with more than 300 employees is more than twice the favorable rating.  On average, CEOs of companies with 100 or less employees rate the quality of service provided by banks unfavorably, while CEOs of larger companies are, in general, neutral.
    Survey Methodology
    These results are based on telephone interviews with 336 CEOs from the tri-state Greater Philadelphia area, representing companies ranging in size from small firms with one to 10 employees to large companies with more than 500 employees.  The CEOs were asked to rate each industry using a five-point scale, where "5" meant excellent service and "1" meant very poor service.  A rating of "4" or "5" is considered favorable, and a rating of "1" or "2" is considered unfavorable. Telephone interviewing was conducted from May 22 to June 15, 1992.  For survey results based on a sample of this size, the maximum error range is plus-or-minus 5 percent.
    Madway Business Research, Inc., of Malvern, is a market research firm specializing in surveys involving business decision-makers.  The firm conducts a quarterly business outlook survey among CEOs in the Greater Philadelphia area.
        TABLE 1:  SERVICE QUALITY RATINGS -- TOTAL (IN PERCENT)
    "I am going to read you a brief list of services, and as I mention each one, please rate your overall impression of the quality of service they provide to businesses like yours, using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means very poor and 5 means excellent."
                      Favorable  Unfavorable  Net        Neutral  Aver-
                       Rating      Rating     Differ-    Rating   age
                      (4 or 5)   (1 or 2)     ence (A)   (3)      Rating
    Telephone Services
     Companies           65         14          51        18       3.8
    Accounting Firms     54         12          42        26       3.7
    Advertising Agencies 17         20          -3        33       3.0
    Law Firms            32         38          -6        24       2.9
    Health Care
     Companies           24         38         -14        31       2.7
    Banks                28         44         -16        25       2.7
    Insurance Companies  21         41         -20        35       2.6
    "Don't Know" and "Refused" not shown.
    (A)  Net Difference equals "Favorable" less "Unfavorable."  Ranked in descending order of Net Difference.
      TABLE 2:  SERVICE QUALITY RATINGS -- BY FIRM SIZE (IN PERCENT)
                                          1-100     101-300    Over 300
                                      Employees   Employees   Employees
    Telephone Service Companies:
        Favorable                            65          58          45
        Unfavorable                          14          11          18
        Net Difference                       51          47          27
        Neutral Rating                       17          28          31
        Mean Rating                         3.8         3.7         3.4
    Accounting Firms:
        Favorable                            54          59          41
        Unfavorable                          12           4          13
        Net Difference                       42          55          28
        Neutral Rating                       26          30          41
        Mean Rating                         3.7         3.8         3.3
    Advertising Agencies:
        Favorable                            17          23          21
        Unfavorable                          21          20          20
        Net Difference                       -4           3           1
        Neutral Rating                       33          35          37
        Mean Rating                         3.0         3.0         3.0
    Law Firms:
        Favorable                            32          35          37
        Unfavorable                          38          24          35
        Net Difference                       -6          11           2
        Neutral Rating                       24          37          26
        Mean Rating                         2.9         3.0         3.0
    Health Care Services Companies:
        Favorable                            24          29          13
        Unfavorable                          38          24          37
        Net Difference                      -14           5         -24
        Neutral Rating                       31          43          47
        Mean Rating                         2.7         3.0         2.7
    Banks:
        Favorable                            28          29          24
        Unfavorable                          45          28          26
        Net Difference                      -17           1          -2
        Neutral Rating                       24          39          46
        Mean Rating                         2.7         3.0         3.0
    Insurance Companies:
        Favorable                            21          25          18
        Unfavorable                          41          31          37
        Net Difference                      -20          -6         -19
        Neutral Rating                       35          39          40
        Mean Rating                         2.6         2.9         2.8
    /delval/
    -0-             09/30/92
    CONTACT:  Bill Madway, president of Madway Business Research, 215-648-3865 CO:  MADWAY BUSINESS RESEARCH, INC. ST:  PA -- PH007 -- X429  09/30/92
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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