Perception is definitely affecting reality when it comes to consumers and the quality of their wireless networks.
According to J.D. Power’s latest Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, consumers who have unlimited data plans report lower incidences of overall network problems than those who have limited data plans.
“We believe customer experience and perception is as important as everything else, and in this case the perception is the reality,” Peter Cunningham, technology, media, and telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s not to say that the nuts and bolds of the hardware of the networks aren’t important. But customer perception and experience go a long way to improving your business model.”
Consumers who have unlimited data plans experience an average of 11 network quality problems per 100 connections, while those who have data allowances report an average of 13 problems per 100 connections. More consumers with unlimited data plans also report “faster than expected” data speeds than those with data allowances.
“Wireless customers who are not worried about data overages have a much more positive perception of their network’s quality,” Cunningham says. “This is a critical insight into wireless customer psychology for carriers who’ve been engaged in battle over unlimited data plans for the past several months.”
Overall, the perception of higher network quality for those with unlimited plans could be a boon for the industry, as the number of consumers with such plans is increasing. The number of consumers on unlimited plans increased from 28% to 23% in the most recent study.
“The halo effect helps skew the perception of network quality,” Cunningham says. “The industry as a whole is getting a better image as a result.”