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J.D. Power Reports: Customer Satisfaction Is Severely Impacted When Wireless Customers Make Multiple Contacts Across Care Channels to Resolve Problems

T-Mobile Ranks Highest in Wireless Customer Care Performance among Full-Service Carriers; MetroPCS Ranks Highest among Non-Contract Carriers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- When wireless customers need to shift between care channels to resolve their initial inquiry, satisfaction declines considerably and the propensity to switch carriers more than doubles, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance StudySM—Volume 2 and the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance StudySM—Volume 2, both released today.

J.D. Power corporate logo.

Now in their 12th year, these semiannual studies offer a detailed report card on how well wireless carriers provide customer service via three main contact channels: telephone (which consists of three sub-channels—Automated Response System (ARS) then Customer Service Representative (CSR); CSR only; and ARS only); walk-in (retail store); and online. The studies measure satisfaction with each contact method and analyze processing issues, such as the efficiency of problem resolution and the duration of hold times.

"It's imperative that wireless service carriers improve their ability to resolve customer issues in one contact and reduce the number of service channels customers need to visit to address their problem," said  Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power. "Understanding the types of problems customers contact their carrier about and driving them to the appropriate channel for problem resolution the first time will reduce operating costs and improve the overall customer experience. Improving customer satisfaction leads to long-term loyalty."

Overall satisfaction among wireless full-service customers is 776 (on a 1,000-point scale) and 717 among non-contract wireless customers. Full-service customers experience higher service scores across most of the contact channels and have lower hold times and higher first-call resolution frequency. Overall satisfaction with the wireless care experience in both the full-service (786) and non-contract (732) segments has declined from the 2013 Volume 2 studies by 10 and 15 points, respectively.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Satisfaction with customer care among those requiring multiple channels to resolve their problem is 755, compared with 772 among those who resolve their issue using a single channel.
  • Forty percent of customers using multiple channels to resolve their problem say they "definitely will" or "probably will" switch their carrier, compared with just 17 percent of those who resolve their problem via a single channel.
  • Industry-wide, 25 percent of wireless service customers' contacts are the result of a previous attempt to resolve the same problem via another contact channel.
  • Thirty-eight percent of multi-channel customer service contacts originate in a store, followed by 33 percent originating online and 29 percent by phone.
  • Among customers originally going to a carrier store, 82 percent ultimately call their carrier, while 18 percent go online when they are unable to resolve their issue. Additionally, when customers originally contact by phone, 53 percent are sent to a store, while 47 percent are sent to the online channel to resolve their issue.
  • Multiple-channel contacts are more often required to resolve problems related to billing issues (36%); service options/equipment (35%); network connection issues (21%); and incorrect charges (13%) than are contacts resolved via a single channel.
  • On average, problems that are resolved via multiple contact channels take 21.7 minutes to resolve via the last channel used, compared with just 14.9 minutes for problems resolved using a single channel.

The 2014 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study—Volume 2 is based on responses from 6,131 full-service wireless customers. The 2014 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study—Volume 2 is based on responses from 2,518 non-contract wireless customers. Both semiannual studies are based on the experiences of current customers who contacted their carrier's customer care department within the past six months. The study was fielded from January 2014 through June 2014.


Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores

J.D. Power.com Power Circle RatingsTM


 (Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers




Full-Service






T-Mobile

792

5

AT&T

788

5

Full-Service Average

776

3

Verizon Wireless

772

3

Sprint Nextel

748

2




Non-Contract






MetroPCS

741

5

Virgin Mobile

733

4

Cricket

721

3

TracFone

720

3

Boost Mobile

718

3

Non-Contract Average

717

3

Straight Talk

684

2

Net10

667

2

Power Circle Ratings Legend
5 – Among the best
4 – Better than most
3 – About average
2 – The rest

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; [email protected]

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info
About McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com 

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SOURCE J.D. Power

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