SMEs unhappy with larger telecoms providers

A third of start-ups are unimpressed with the support they receive from large broadband providers and are looking to smaller telecoms businesses to supply their broadband services.

A study of 1,000 business owners from across the UK found that over a quarter (27%) believed the level of support they received from Britain’s largest providers, such as Sky, Virgin and BT, was below average and 4% regarded it as very poor. Only 26% were satisfied with the level of service they received and just 16% rated it as ‘very good’.

In comparison, small telecoms providers achieved higher customer satisfaction ratings, with business owners saying they were happier on average with the support they received. 35% rated the quality of customer service as good and a fifth went further, saying the level of service was very good.

Woav digital marketing manager Richard Smylie said: “Broadband and internet connection is an important service for business customers, with many companies greatly relying on the service in order to function on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, it’s vital that if something should go wrong, they are able to pick up the phone, speak to a helpful member of staff, and have the problem resolved quickly.

“Many large telecoms businesses do have a trusted reputation with customers, and our research shows that customers are happy with the quality and speed of the broadband they receive. However, when it comes to the human element, it appears the large market dominators are actually falling behind on customer satisfaction and support. This is now opening up the way for smaller providers to offer a service that delivers better customer support and can give customers a more personal service that is tailored to their business needs. This is what customers value, and in order for the larger suppliers to hang on to their customers, they should be making customer service and support a priority.”

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024