A new study from JD Power has found that the majority of consumers are using smartphones to buy new devices, showing that for wireless purchases, consumers tend to gravitate towards making those purchases on the mobile web as opposed to browsing from a desktop, calling into the telesales channels, or going into physical retail stores to buy a new phone.
The same study also found that those consumers who do make their new device purchases through a smartphone channel instead of other avenues have the most enjoyable experience. JD Power's study ranks customer satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale, and new wireless device purchases via a smartphone ranked at 857 points, the highest number, compared to 823 points for the same types of purchases via desktops, laptops, or tablets, 842 points for purchases in-store, and 836 points for those who called into a telesales channel to buy a new device. It's also estimated that customers who buy new devices through a smartphone also spend less time with the whole transaction, averaging about 10.6 minutes.
The study doesn't mention the reasoning for the higher satisfaction rating, but chances are that it might have something to do with spending less time completing the transaction and the whole thing can be done without having to speak to another person, which means you can get in and get out rather quickly, and if you're the type who would rather face a small device screen you can hold in your hand then deal with a cashier face to face or speak to someone, then you probably prefer this method. That said, JD Power highlights that stores are still an important marker for wireless device purchases, and that T-Mobile, Metro PCS, and Consumer Cellular ranked the highest across their respective categories. For instance, T-Mobile was ranked the highest for satisfaction of an in-store experience for wireless full-service carriers, reaching a score of 855. This is compared to AT&T's score of 839, and Sprint's score of 819. Metro PCS and Consumer Cellular both scored 858 and 866 respectively, for their relative carrier categories of non-contract full-service and non-contract value carriers. Beyond the wireless device purchase satisfaction based on purchase channels, the study also looked at customer satisfaction in other areas, and found that customers who have unlimited data were more satisfied with service by about 12 points compared to those that didn't have it.