Global wholesale ops plateau

15 February 2011 | Judy Reed Smith

Results are in from Yankee Group's 2011 Wholesale Carrier Report, based on approximately 1,700 ratings of global carriers.

Our first benchmarking work of the year, our 2011 Global Wholesale Carrier Report Card, has awards presented at the PTC conference in Hawaii, and is now on the street. Based on approximately 1,700 individual ratings of global carriers by their wholesale customers, this year’s study found that, following overall increases in customer satisfaction from 2009 to 2010, satisfaction ratings for operations remained essentially flat from 2010 to 2011, with network satisfaction being the only area achieving performance increases two years in a row. Within those flat averages, however, there were many changes in opinions of carriers, with several first-time winners.

Beneath the surface, several interesting trends emerged. For example, western European and North American buyers remain the two segments of global wholesale customers least satisfied with carrier operations. Eastern European and central and South American buyers give carriers higher ratings, although the smaller number of new entrants in those geographies would typically indicate less  competition with a resulting lower satisfaction.

Another noteworthy trend is that large-spend customers (those spending $500 million or more annually) were the customers most satisfied with carrier operations, followed by the smallest wholesale customers (those spending less than $5 million annually), suggesting that carriers with strong operational scores may find success this year targeting the half of the market which has been least satisfied, the mid-market wholesale customers.

This year, we again found that proactive selling remains the lowest-rated customer experience touch point. The persistence of (relatively) low scores in this area, despite its inherent economic advantages relative to driving improvements in other metrics, serves as a reminder that sometimes changes in behaviour are more difficult to enact than changes that require capital investment. Sales people are rewarded, typically, for the revenue brought in, and a proactive, consultative sale may move a customer to a lower revenue product. Thus, the sales rep may be unmotivated to make those consults.

Finally, since wireless growth and data demand is a major driver of wireline wholesale activity, wholesalers should be pleased that the wireless vertical is, on average, 6% more satisfied with global wholesale carrier operations than the typical wholesale buyer.

Judy Reed Smith is CEO of Atlantic-ACM. She can be contacted at: