The State of IP-Phone Satisfaction
According to a recent AOTMP research study, enterprises report a 9% increase in satisfaction with IP-based phone equipment over the past 24 months. While the increase is positive, overall satisfaction is 7.8 on a 10-point scale, hovering in the moderate satisfaction range. Quality and reliability of equipment are the primary drivers for this rating.
Taking a deeper dive into the demographics, the retail industry and education segment rate highest on the satisfaction scale, 9.0 and 8.4 respectively, while the finance industry reports the lowest level of satisfaction at 6.4. Variances in satisfaction by industry and market sector are attributed to the volume of use in each industry and the value of each call transaction to the business. The more use and greater business value placed on calls, the lower the tolerance for performance issues.
These research findings indicate that the quality of IP-based phone equipment still has room for improvement. While adoption of IP-based phone systems is rapidly growing, satisfaction lags behind traditional TDM-based systems.
Enterprises with IP-based phone system initiatives should consider peer satisfaction when evaluating equipment – physical desk sets and softphones – and conduct a thorough evaluation of the options available to select the best solution for the environment. Users transitioning from traditional desk set devices to softphones may also require adjustment periods if they are not accustom to using headphones or a computer microphone/speaker configuration; satisfaction with the comfort and softphone interface influences overall satisfaction with the solution. Additionally, quality and reliability may, in fact, be attributed to call quality and performance, not just endpoint devices. Capacity engineering, QoS and call prioritization must be designed and monitored to establish call path integrity that influences overall end user satisfaction.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.