WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 27 August 2015 — Providing a strong network that minimizes dropped calls, slow Web speeds and downloads and delayed text notifications can improve loyalty and reduce churn among wireless customers, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance StudySM—Volume 2 released today.
Now in its 13th year, the semiannual study is based on 10 problem areas of the customer experience: dropped calls; calls not connected; audio issues; failed/late voicemails; lost calls; text transmission failures; late text message notifications; Web connection errors; slow downloads; and email connection errors. Network performance issues are measured as problems per 100 (PP100) network connections, with a lower score reflecting fewer problems and better overall performance.
The study finds that customer loyalty to their carrier is considerably higher among those who experience fewer problems with network quality. Among wireless customers who experience 9 PP100 or fewer, 39 percent say they “definitely will not” switch carriers in the near future. Loyalty rates drop substantially when customers experience 10 PP100 or more, with only 20 percent saying they “definitely will not” switch. That pattern holds true regardless of the type of network quality problem or type of device used to access a network. Notably, mobile broadband device owners have the largest difference in PP100 scores between owners who say they “definitely/probably will not” switch and those who “definitely/probably will” switch (21 PP100 vs. 40 PP100, respectively).
“Enhancing network performance to ensure customers consistently experience a high-quality connection—especially when using Internet-based services—can substantially improve loyalty for wireless carriers,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director and technology, media & telecom practice leader at J.D. Power. “This can be accomplished by deploying the latest technology to improve bandwidth efficiency, data connection speeds and reliability. To retain customers, it is essential for carriers to proactively expand and upgrade networks to align with the latest generation of services and devices, particularly those that rely on data speed and consistent connections, such as broadband devices.
- Overall wireless network quality problem incidence is 12 PP100 in 2015 Vol. 2 vs. 13 PP100 in Vol. 1.
- On average, wireless customers experience the highest number of data quality problems when using a mobile broadband device (30 PP100), followed by tablet (17 PP100) and phone (11 PP100).
- While 17 percent of wireless customers have a tablet with a data plan from their wireless carrier, 10 percent have a mobile broadband device, such as an air card or hotspot.
- When examining types of data problems, email connection errors occur more frequently on tablets than phones (9 PP100 vs. 6 PP100, respectively). In contrast, issues related to slow mobile Web connections are more likely to occur on phones (16 PP100) and mobile broadband devices (16 PP100) than tablets (13 PP100).
- Overall network quality is highest in the Mid-Atlantic and North Central regions (11 PP100 each), followed by the Southeast, Southwest, and West regions (12 PP100 each) and the Northeast region (13 PP100).
Verizon Wireless ranks highest in all six regions—Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, North Central, Southwest and West—with typically lower PP100 scores in call quality, messaging quality and data quality.
The 2015 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance Study—Volume 2 is based on responses from 42,836 wireless customers. The study was fielded January through June 2015. Carrier performance is examined in six geographic regions: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, North Central, Southwest and West. In addition to evaluating the network quality experienced by customers with wireless phones, the study also measures the network performance of tablets and mobile broadband devices.
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