Consumers are craving clarity when it comes to their wireless bills, and companies that are willing to take the time to explain billing details are more likely to get and retain customers.
According to J.D. Power’s most recent Wireless Purchase Experience studies for contract and pre-paid consumers, overall satisfaction with the purchase experience is significantly higher among those who say the advertised prices for services were “very consistent” with the actual prices they have been receiving on their bills (872 on a 1,000-point scale, vs. 709 for those who felt it was “very inconsistent” or “somewhat inconsistent").
“With the playing field leveling a bit with unlimited plans being generally consistent [among carriers], price sensitivity is becoming more and more apparent,” Peter Cunningham, technology, media and telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power, tells Marketing Daily.
Meanwhile, in-store sales representatives play an important role in increasing customer satisfaction. According to the research, overall satisfaction is higher among those who say the sales rep offered to explain or demonstrate device operations. Representatives who also took time to explain the components of a bill were also more likely to be perceived as being “very consistent” with advertised costs.
“The carriers that we’re seeing do better are doing more at the point-of-sale,” Cunningham says. “They’re taking a little extra time to educate the customer on any extra fees and what they are.”
While some carriers are advertising “all-in” monthly bills, Cunningham notes that other regulatory charges and taxes can often creep in, leaving customers confused about their monthly bills. Though nearly two-thirds of customers (62%) said the quoted and actual fees were consistent, that leaves roughly a third of consumers wondering what their charges are, Cunningham says.
“The good news for wireless companies is that there is a huge opportunity to win the hearts and minds of customers by simply delivering better consistency between advertised and actual pricing,” he says. “Those who recognize this issue and effectively address it will go a long way toward shedding the ‘used car dealer’ stigma that is growing among consumers regarding wireless carriers.”