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Brief: ISP Customer Service Gets Thumbs Down

An Accenture report shows nearly half of those polled have switched at least one service provider in the last year.
Dissatissfaction with the customer service users get from Internet service providers may be more widespread than previously thought: Accenture's Customer Relationship Management practice reports that 15 percent of Internet users take their business elsewhere in frustration because their service expectations aren't met.

That is just one finding included in an Accenture report released Monday. Accenture said it surveyed 1,000 U.S. customers to gain an understanding of customer service satisfaction, or lack thereof.

The results showed that nearly half of those polled switched at least one service provider in the past year. The management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm looked at a range of industries and services in the survey.

The poorest customer service was recorded by retailers -- 18 percent of respondents switched retailing services -- followed closely by the ISP category. Other industries recording a defection rate of 10 percent or more included banking, home and mobile phone service providers and cable/satellite TV service providers.

"High-performing companies recognize that customer satisfaction is built or destroyed by how well they coordinate every step of each interaction," said Robert Wollan, Accenture managing partner in a statement. "As industries fall victim to commoditization and barriers to changing service providers are removed, those that neglect any aspect of the customer service experience risk losing market share to competitors."

The survey also found that the lowest satisfaction rate was recorded for automated phone service.

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