Customer Service and Cost of Service Drive Higher Satisfaction among Wireless Business Customers

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Verizon Wireless Ranks Highest in Business Customer Satisfaction in Two Segments for a Second Consecutive Year

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 30 May 2013 Overall satisfaction in both the very small business segment and the small/medium size business segment is significantly higher in 2013, compared with 2012, according to the J.D. Power & Associates 2013 U.S. Business Wireless Service Satisfaction StudySM released today.

Key Findings

  • Overall customer satisfaction among wireless business customers improves 20 index points to 694.
  • Among customers who contacted their wireless provider's customer service during the past six months, 67 percent indicate that their problem was resolved on the first contact.
  • Customer spending on voice and data services has increased an average of $81 per month.

Now in its ninth year, the study measures overall satisfaction among very small business customers (companies with between one and 19 employees, with a corporate service plan) and small and medium business customers (companies with between 20 and 499 employees) with their wireless voice and data services across six key factors. In order of importance, they are performance and reliability (29%); sales representatives and account executives (18%); cost of service (18%); offerings and promotions (14%); billing (12%); and customer service (8%). 

In 2013, overall customer satisfaction among wireless business customers averages 694 on a 1,000-point scale, a significant increase from 674 in 2012. According to the study, performance across all factors improves, with customer service increasing a notable 64 index points, due to higher ratings in promptness in speaking with service representatives and timeliness in resolving problems and questions. These increases are attributed to operational improvements implemented during the past year to enhance network performance, as well as reduce call transfer rates and hold times. Not only are customer service contacts and inquiry rates by business customers down 5 percent from 2012, but issues are also being resolved in a timely manner by wireless providers. Among customers who contacted customer service during the last six months, 67 percent indicate that their problem was resolved on the first contactup from 62 percent in 2012. 

"It's very encouraging to note that the customer service process is improving and that wireless business customers are reaping the financial benefits of enhanced resolution rates," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power & Associates. "The ability of wireless providers to successfully resolve problems on the first contact is paramount, as customers' intention to switch their provider increases by 79 percent when more than one contact is required to resolve their problem." 

Satisfaction with cost of service increases by 24 index points in 2013 from 2012. However, the largest increase is in "reasonableness of prices paid for services," with business customers in all segments perceiving more value for their money, despite increasing their spending on both voice and data services an average of $81 per month on a year-over-year basis. The study finds that a higher percentage of employers are providing data plans to employees (89% in 2013 vs. 79% in 2012). Furthermore, customer satisfaction with the quality of network service they receive from their provider is higher year over year. Network performance and reliability improves 18 points from 2012, and 57 percent of customers indicate they receive positive feedback on network quality from their employees, a 10 percent increase from 2012.

"It's clear that the need for business customers' employees to have a reliable, high-quality and high-speed connection on a consistent basis for day-to-day business activities is key for improved productivity," said Parsons. "Meeting or exceeding the service expectations of business customers is critical."

Among business customers who experience network connection issues, the percentage of those who will most likely switch providers in the next 12 months is nearly three times higher than the study average (27% vs. 10%, respectively). 

Business Wireless Customer Satisfaction Results

Verizon Wireless ranks highest in customer satisfaction in both the very small business and small/medium business segments, performing particularly well in performance and reliability and offerings and promotions. Sprint closely follows Verizon Wireless in the very small business segment, while T-Mobile ranks second in the small/medium business segment. 

The study also finds the following key business wireless usage patterns:

  • In 2013, 27 percent of business customers that purchase handsets for their employees allow the employees to choose from a selected group of models, compared with 19 percent in 2010.
  • Just 9 percent of business customers have experienced mobile security issues within the past six months. The study finds little additional negative impact on mobile security when businesses policies allow employees to use their personal device.

The 2013 U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction Study is based on responses from wireless service decision-makers at more than 2,800 U.S. businesses. The study was fielded between October 2012 and February 2013. 

About J.D. Power & Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power & Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power & Associates is a business unit of McGraw-Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power & Associates, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com..

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com

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No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power & Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218