AT&T and DirecTV Combination Should Improve Consumer Experience

AT&T announced plans to buy DirecTV for almost $50 billion. I won’t comment on the deal, but want to make some observations about what this might mean for customer experience in the TV services industry.

As we show in our examination of the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, the TV services industry delivers terrible customer experience. It has the lowest average score out of 19 industries. When Comcast and Time Warner came together, it actually combined two of the worst companies in delivering customer experience.

But the DirecTV and AT&T combination has more upside for consumers. As you can see in the chart below, DirecTV is one of the best companies in the industry across many of our Temkin Ratings (see Temkin Forgiveness Ratings and Temkin Trust Ratings). It also has a relatively (for the industry) high number of consumers that are willing to recommend the company. AT&T, on the other hand, is about average for customer experience in the industry, but it is above average in the other measures.


Hopefully the combined AT&T and DirecTV will focus on building differentiation through great customer experience. The bar isn’t very high in the industry and it’s already on the right path.

The bottom line: Great customer experience in TV services will drive loyalty

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

2 thoughts on “AT&T and DirecTV Combination Should Improve Consumer Experience”

  1. I had a personal (pre-merger) example. My AT&T U-Verse bill for phone, Internet, and TV went up $60 in one month. They offered to get my bill down some by switching my U-Verse TV to the same package on DTV. That would have meant having an installer coming to my house and doing a good bit of work, all of the TV setups changing, and the loss of some nice DVR features from U-Verse. None of it was about me as a customer, it was all about AT&T. As a CX professional, I just shook my head as I churned.

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