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Small Business Digest


FedexKinko, Office Depot, and Dell Lead Satisfaction Survey of 4,000 Small Business Managers

For the fourth year in a row, Federal Express, Office Depot, and Dell were viewed most favorably as suppliers in a survey of 4,000+ by small business managers completed by this publication. In this annual survey, readers were given a list of 18 top brands, five satisfaction choices and asked:
 For the following national brands please indicate your general overall opinion as to their handling of small business clients?

The clear leaders are Federal Express, rated "very favorable" or "favorable" by almost three out of four respondents, an increase from last year's (64.7%), followed by Office Depot and Dell computers.  This year, the editors developed a more mathematical approach to the ratings which is reflected in the chart below.  It provides a more graphic picture of the comparisons within the 17 brands nominated by readers.

For the first year, FedexKinko was listed instead of the separate groupings, as the two have merged. Surprisingly, American Express lost its fourth place position from last year yielding to rival Visa and dropping to ninth place.  Staples jumped five places and is now in the fifth position amongst the 17 top providers.

4,000 Respondents

The more than 4,000+ respondents to the survey conducted in January 2006, rated these industry leaders in five categories from very favorable to very unfavorable.  The 17 brands chosen for the survey make it a point to target small firms and often enjoy the highest ratings from their constituents.

Where American Express did improve was in lowering its negative rating amongst respondents in relation to last year. Not so for last years leader in negativity, Bank One which once again received the highest rate of ire from respondents.  It was closely followed by Pitney Bowes and Sprint, again, continuing a trend from last year.

Not surprisingly, brands most in tune with their clients were also ranked the lowest in negative comments from respondents.

The telecommunications groups were low on respondents' positive responses with many write-in comments on VOIP providers.  Next year's survey will include them and the editors are considering a special mid-year telecommunications survey.

Intuit once again showed positive this year and maintained with HP their position as solid providers.

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