Consumers who have more choice with where they can use their phones tend to be more satisfied with their wireless experiences.
According to J.D. Power’s latest Wireless Customer Care study, consumers who use unlocked mobile phones (which can be used on any network) are more satisfied than those who don’t have such devices. That satisfaction comes even as those customers have more contacts with their providers than those with locked phones (4.4 phone contacts in the previous three months vs. 1.6).
Some of that satisfaction may be due to the nature of the calls these customers are making to their carriers. For the majority of these contacts, the question is about a minor issue, such as billing (60% for those who phoned or went into a store) rather than some larger problem, such as network issues. The reason they contact on so-called “neutral” issues is because they have the freedom to move to another network if the problem is something service-related, says Kirk Parsons, senior director and technology, media & telecom practice leader at J.D. Power.
“The vast majority [of unlocked phone customers] are contacting the companies on a neutral issue than about some larger problem,” Parsons tells Marketing Daily. “They [also] have this overarching viewpoint where they can go where they want, and move to any carrier.”
Additionally, the study finds customers who have contract plans tend to be more satisfied overall than those on prepaid, non-contract plans. What’s more average satisfaction for contract customers was 10 points higher than it was last year, compared with a 5 point decline for those on prepaid plans.
“The types of customers are different,” Parsons says. “The expectations are different for what they want from their service. All of those variables impact their reactions from a customer satisfaction standpoint.”