A recent study by J.D. Power shows some of the factors that may have an impact on the overall satisfaction that customers experience throughout the purchasing process of a mobile device with wireless service. The most significant factor was the length of time the owner plans to own the device, with some related statistics also coming into play. Overall, the study showed that those who intend to keep their devices for a shorter length of time typically experience a higher satisfaction rate. On a 1000-point scale, customers that plan to keep their devices for less than one year, which accounts for 34%, had a satisfaction score of 853, and that number drops as the length of time increases. Customers who intend to keep their devices for more than three years, which makes up only 13%, had a score of 817. One reason that a shorter length of ownership may produce a higher satisfaction rate is the age of the device. As devices age, their performance begins to decline. Hardware advances quickly, and current software is typically designed with the latest hardware in mind, so as the standard increases, performance on old devices may suffer.
For users that, at any given time, will have a device that is less than a year old, they can expect the device to continue to perform well for most of the time they own it. The study also showed that the majority of those who keep their phones for less than a year were between the ages of 18 and 34 (58%), and of that group, 79% indicated that they are often early adopters of new technology devices. This presents another possible factor that may impact this particular age range's overall satisfaction: wireless service. As younger subscribers tend to place a high value on things like unlimited data usage and fast connection speeds, the services offered to them by their carrier can have a large impact on their overall satisfaction. The study also shows that consumers feel most comfortable purchasing a device in a store, where they can look at it up close, with 78% reporting having made an in-store purchase. 61% have made at least one purchase online, and 54% have bought devices over the phone.
Interestingly enough, the study showed that those who keep their devices for a shorter duration actually end up paying less for them. Those who plan to keep their phones for less than a year paid an average of $188. Two-year customers average $279, $312 for three-year customers, and $313 for those who planned to keep their device longer than three years. Of course, buying a phone more often still means paying more money overall, as you have to pay for a device more frequently. But given the findings, it may be worth the extra money, because as the study shows, the key to having a positive experience when making a wireless purchase seems to be short-term ownership.