J.D. Power: Wireless companies getting better at automated customer care

TROY—The best wireless customer care experiences are increasingly becoming those that involve only one human being, according to the latest research from customer experience analytics firm J.D. Power.

The firm this week released Volume 1 of its 2020 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study and its 2020 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study.

The last several years of investment by wireless carriers in their unassisted customer care channels, including technologies such as mobile apps, websites and online videos, have yielded improvements in unassisted care customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, the satisfaction gap between assisted and unassisted care is narrowing, accompanied by an increase in usage among younger generations in unassisted care channels.

“It’s become crystal clear in our data that wireless customers—particularly younger customers under age 35—appreciate being able to help themselves whenever they want, without having to wait for a customer service representative or talk to someone on the phone,” said Ian Greenblatt, managing director at J.D. Power. “This is foundational for network operators who can receive upwards of 100 million customer service calls per year. With an average cost per call of about $9 to $12, the ability to migrate customers to self-service channels without compromising customer satisfaction is a critical advantage for those who get the formula right.”

For full-service carriers, T-Mobile ranked highest with a score of 848. Verizon Wireless (817) ranked second and AT&T (793) ranked third. The full-service segment average is 805.

For non-contract full-service carriers, Metro by T-Mobile ranked highest with a score of 821. Boost Mobile and Cricket ranked second in a tie with a score of 815. The segment average is 809.

For non-contract value carriers, Consumer Cellular ranked highest with a score of 888. Straight Talk Wireless (771) ranked second and TracFone (751) ranked third. The segment average is 795.

The studies are based on responses from 12,974 customers who contacted their carrier’s customer care department within the past three months. The studies evaluate customer care experiences across 12 different customer care channels: phone customer service reps; in-store contact; online chat; email; social media post; carrier app question post; automated telephone systems; website search; social media search; user forum; video from carrier; and carrier app search.

The studies were fielded from July through December 2019.

For more information about the U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study and the U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/resource/us-wireless-customer-care-performance-study

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