The wireless carriers must be doing something right: consumer satisfaction with their customer service has hit its highest levels in recent years, according to J.D. Power & Associates.
According to the company’s wireless customer care studies (covering both full-service and non-contract sectors), the carriers had an average score of 786 and 732, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale. Those scores are 31 and 34 points higher than the industry received six months ago in the semiannual study, and are the highest recorded since the company switched to a 1,000-point scale in 2009.
One of the places the wireless companies have improved their customer service is through the online channel, particularly through the use of online chat, says Kirk Parsons, senior director of the telecom practice at J.D. Power. Among customers who contacted their carriers through the online channel, overall satisfaction was highest when the chat function was used, according to the research. Also, among full-service customers, 42% of those who solved their issue online used the chat function, up 6% since 2011.
“It’s not only getting easier. I think the carriers are getting more proactive, driving customers to that experience,” Parsons tells Marketing Daily. “The technology [the carriers] have been able to provide is much better, and for them, it’s much cheaper to provide than a [telephone representative].”
Among the full-service wireless carriers, AT&T topped the list for the first time with an overall score of 795. The company scored particularly well in online and in-store service. “I think they’re focusing more on their customers, and their numbers are showing it,” Parsons says.
In the sector, Verizon Wireless followed AT&T with a score of 790, while Sprint Nextel followed at 771 and T-Mobile scored 760.
Among non-contract carriers, MetroPCS ranked highest with a score of 770, followed by Cricket (750) and Virgin Mobile (733). Boost Mobile (729), TracFone (719), Straight Talk (690) and Net 10 (683), all scored below the group’s average (732).