AOL, one of the largest national internet service providers and a global web services company, announced today that market research firm Forrester has rated it highest in "overall customer experience" in an independent study. Forrester conducted interviews with almost 4,600 people nationwide and found that AOL rated very high if not highest in categories such as usefulness and ease-of-use. When all the categories are combined, AOL was at the top with a 71% approval rating.
For those of us who have moved on to using internet service providers (ISPs) that provide little more than basic internet access, AOL may conjure memories of free installer CDs in the mail and dialing in over a telephone line. Although AOL still offers dial-up accounts, they have been diligently growing their web destination offerings, including a full portal and news page, free email and two free instant messaging utilities, AIM and ICQ. Even with all these offerings they have succeeded in the tough job of making it simple for everyone who uses their service, either online or through their ISP, to have a great experience.
Gmail and Meebo (and even have a hard time thinking of those applications as third-party) I have long since stopped worrying about the service as anything but always there and available, like the air I breathe. However, somebody runs those servers with close to 100% uptime, and it's worthwhile to reflect a moment and realize that AOL has made a commitment for the simple reason of maintaining their online reputation at a very high level.I'll admit to clinging tenaciously to my free AIM account that I've had for many years. Even though I access AIM through such various third-party interfaces as
Sure, we have all heard stories about AOL ISP customer service, and of course seen pictures of AOL CD art, but the numbers tell a different story - that AOL is committed to making sure people who choose them are pleased and have the best possible experience online.