In the somewhat chaotic wireless industry of the United States, keeping customers happy can be a tricky business. Carriers must balance their budgets to provide the best networks at the lowest cost, and provide excellent customer service and an overall pleasant experience. Advertising and brand image also has to be considered, and a balance must be struck between keeping loyal customers happy and bringing in new ones. This delicate and intricate dance has proven somewhat difficult for U.S. carriers to get right, especially the Big 4, but there have been huge improvements in the past few years. According to a new report published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, T-Mobile has the rest of the Big 4 beat, TracFone has T-Mobile beat by one point, then the lumping together of other, smaller carriers scores a bit better in overall customer satisfaction.
The report includes a few graphs with some rather telling details about the industry at large. Just about every metric for measuring a good carrier has jumped up throughout the industry year over year from 2015, with call quality and speed of customer service tying for the biggest jump at 4 points up from last year. Overall customer satisfaction in the industry has seen a much smaller change, only going up 1.4% across the industry. The carrier that saw the biggest change from last year was Sprint, whose customer satisfaction rating jumped up an incredible 8%. T-Mobile, meanwhile, scored a middling jump of 4%, but it was enough to put them at the top of the heap when it comes to the Big 4 in the U.S.
It's worthy of note that TracFone, an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, managed to score higher than all of the bigger carriers despite actually falling by 3%. Despite being one of the largest MVNOs out there, their scale still doesn't quite match the bigger carriers, and they don't have to worry about network improvements, letting them focus on customer service and offer better prices than the competition, for the most part. Their easy to use prepaid nature also plays a part in their rating. Unsurprisingly, the smaller MVNOs that got lumped together managed to top off the report, scoring a collective 77%.