AT&T ranked highest among all wireless carriers in the United States in terms of purchase experience satisfaction in its market segment, according to a survey conducted by JD Power. Aside from the full-service providers, the group also contacted customers of non-contract value companies. T-Mobile's subsidiary MetroPCS and MVNO Consumer Cellular took the top spots in terms of customer satisfaction in their respective categories. During the entire study period, the researchers from the analytics firm contacted 6,703 full-service customers and 3,011 non-contract customers. The interviewees were then asked how they would rate their most recent experience in dealing with their service providers. To qualify for the study, their latest sales transaction should have taken place no later than three months before the study was conducted. Six factors were considered during the measurement and computation of the overall satisfaction rating and these include store sales representatives, corporate websites, offerings and promotions, phone sales representatives, store facilities and the actual cost of services.
AT&T got the highest score among the national carriers after it garnered 823 points out of the maximum possible score of 1,000 points. On the other hand, MetroPCS earned 810 points, the highest among the non-contract companies. Last but not the least, Consumer Cellular, a value-focused MVNO that caters to veterans and retirees, got 863 points. For some carriers, the low scores they got on the survey can be attributed to the subscribers' increasing awareness of taxes and other hidden charges. This could open an opportunity for competitors by ensuring consistency between the advertised rates with what the customer will actually pay on a monthly basis, the research firm said.
JD Power also recommended some ways for carriers to improve the satisfaction of their subscribers. Aside from ensuring that advertised prices are the same with what will actually be charged, wireless companies may also train or instruct their in-store representatives to explain or demonstrate device operations and explain the components of the monthly bill. In addition, consumers who receive incentives from their carrier tend to say they are more satisfied with their provider compared to those who do not receive promotional materials, which is another thing that wireless providers may want to consider when devising their business strategies in the future, JD Power suggested.