What Drives Customer Satisfaction? New Research from the Wireless Industry

Mobile devicesJ.D. Powers recently released their 2014 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study. Not surprisingly, one of the key findings is that customers don’t like have to call more than once to have an issue resolved by their carrier. We’ve all dealt with it – it’s annoying to have to wait on hold, repeat the problem again and hope for a resolution.

Unfortunately for the wireless industry, the incidence of this annoying recontact problem has risen by 6 percent in the past 2 years (from 17% to 23%). Nearly a quarter of all issues are not resolved on the first call. The study goes on to describe the very tangible results of that increase in recontacts:

  • Among full-service wireless customers who resolve their issue during a single phone call, satisfaction is 846 (on a 1,000-point scale). Satisfaction declines to 662 when problem resolution takes two or more calls.  That’s about an 18% drop in satisfaction.
  • When customer service hold times are less than 5 minutes, overall customer care satisfaction is 843, compared with 603 when hold times are 15 minutes or longer. That’s about a 24% drop in satisfaction.
  • The likelihood of full-service wireless customers switching carriers increases from 16 percent when their service call lasts less than 5 minutes to 30 percent when their call lasts 15 minutes or more. That’s about double.
  • Satisfaction among full-service wireless customers whose problem is resolved by a representative over the phone in less than 5 minutes is 881. That’s a 3% INCREASE in satisfaction over someone who never had an issue.

Besides the impact to customer satisfaction and retention, carriers literally pay a price for the increasing recontact rates. With customer service call cost ranging in the $6 to $10 range per call a 6% increase in repeat calls translates into big dollars.

So, taking care of customer service issues in a single call can increase customer satisfaction and at the same time save money.

“It’s imperative that wireless service carriers improve their ability to resolve customer issues in one contact and reduce the number of service channels customers need to visit to address their problem,” said  Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications at J.D. Power. “Keeping the service call to five minutes or less may reduce overall call volume to the carrier, thereby improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

Better yet, avoid many of the calls in the first place through transparent billing, improved websites and effective self-service tools. The numbers speak for themselves.

JDPower mh



Elizabeth Gooding

Elizabeth Gooding is the editor of the Insight Forums blog and president of Gooding Communications Group

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