baseball kidsThe other day I saw a story referencing a survey that found  Cable TV is still lagging behind in customer satisfaction when compared with other companies that provide video services.  This seems to be the case every year, and the figures are similar when looking at broadband service. The question that was specifically asked was whether consumers were “very satisfied” with their Television service provider. Verizon’s FiOS service was far and away the top in the poll, with 49% saying they were very satisfied with the service.  That doesn’t seem very high compared to the satisfaction stats we get for the providers we work with, but 49% must be good for a national provider. The results of the survey certainly bear that out.

Surprisingly, coming in second with 37% was a cable company, Bright House Networks.  I say “cable and “surprising” in the same sentence because the next closest cable companies were Cox and Time Warner with 13%, followed closely by Cablevision and Comcast with 12%. Charter pulled up the rear with a dismal 5%. Of course, if someone doesn’t check “very satisfied” on a survey, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are dissatisfied. But, you have to extrapolate that the main cable MSOs, especially Charter, have a high number of dissatisfied customers.

You also have to wonder how these companies hold on to their customers. Maybe there’s not a good option in the area, although the two major satellite providers were ranked higher than the major cable MSOs.  I think it may be more about the hassle factor associated with changing providers.  Once you have your DVR, DVD and surround sound system working just like you want them, you don’t want to dive into a jungle of tangled wires to figure it all out again.

Certainly, Bright House must be doing something right to score number two in the survey. I suppose people in central Florida, where many of their customers are located, could just be in a better mood most of the time, but I think there is more to it than that. In fact, the systems operated by Bright House used to be owned by Time Warner, so they have done something substantial to elevate themselves to second place in this specific measure of customer satisfaction.

I have to assume that Bright House is providing a higher level of customer service. This is a major reason why Verizon scores higher in customer satisfaction than their counterparts in both the TV and cellular worlds.

I checked out the Bright House Web site to see if anything else jumped out at me. I noticed under About Us there was a Community link, and on that page the banner says “We are a good neighbor. We live here too”. There is also the following statement:

As a local company, it’s our privilege to give back to the areas we also call home. That’s why you’ll find Bright House Networks employees working, educating and serving the needs of others, throughout your community. We care about you at Bright House Networks.

So, even though they are the seventh largest Cable MSO in the country, Bright House brags about their company and employees being members of, and active in, the local community.  Bright House shows that even if you’re not a mom and pop provider in an area, you can still run your business in a community-oriented way.

I compared Bright House and a few others.  Comcast’s Community Page is just a forum, with no warm feeling about Comcast being my local provider.  On Charter’s local page I got news and other semi-local content provided by a feed, with nothing about Charter being active in the community. I suspect from this small bit of evidence that there probably is a difference in how these providers interact with the community, and that coupled with a higher level of customer service will directly affect how a customer feels about their service provider.

What about your business?  Can you brag about your customer service ratings?  How active are you in your community?