Two consumer satisfaction studies conducted by J.D. Power between July and December of 2017 seem to suggest that social media is now the preferred medium for customer service. The studies, which included a total of 15,668 customers, were intended to rank full-service and no-contract carriers in the US However, J.D. Power says that among the findings, one thing that stood out above everything else is that social networks are now the front-line for customer service interactions.
To begin with, customers who have contacted their carrier to ask questions or make requests are happiest when that interaction occurs over social media or through an app. In fact, the satisfaction scores for those methods of customer relations fell in at an average of 838 and 835, respectively, out of a total 1,000 points possible. J.D. Power's Peter Cunningham says that comes down to the fact that response times through those platforms is much faster than traditional contact methods. Moreover, in addition to speaking with real people, customers feel like responses are much more personalized. Customer interactions over the phone or face-to-face still rank comparatively high too, with scores of 797 and 824, but automated systems and email no longer keep many consumers as happy as those methods of communication may once have. Emailed responses, in particular, are not keeping customers satisfied thanks largely to the fact that the average wait time for that response is 32 hours. Finally, regardless of which of the mediums is used to contact customer service, consumers do not like an talking to an automated system. That's true even when customers are actually talking a pre-programmed piece of technology or not. In fact, even when a real person could be on the other end of the line or chat, the more automated the system customer service appears to be, the less satisfied a customer is likely to feel as compared to how they may normally feel about a given means of communication.
As to the actual rankings of the study, J.D. Power says three companies came out on top. T-Mobile ranked highest in customer satisfaction among its peers. The cell service provider scored 828 points, while Verizon and AT&T each scored 822 and 811 points, respectively. For no-contract carriers offering full service, MetroPCS managed to outrank its competition at 828 points, as compared to Cricket's 814 points and Boost Mobile's 808 points. Last, but not least, Consumer Cellular ranked highest among no-contract value carriers with a score of 880 points – a full 110 points above the next best carrier in that category. Straight Talk managed to net 770 points and Net10 scored 760 points.