Perceived Advantages in Customer Care and Sales Force Drive High Satisfaction Levels Among Mobile Broadband Small/Medium Size Business Customers

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Verizon Wireless Ranks Highest in Satisfying Business Customers in Both Home-Based And Small/Medium Business Segments

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 28 April 2011 — Small/medium business segment customers with mobile broadband connections are more satisfied with their wireless service overall than are customers without broadband connections, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction StudySM released today.

Now in its seventh year, the study measures the overall satisfaction of home-based business customers (companies with between one and five employees, and based in a residence) and small/medium segment business customers (companies with between two and 499 employees) with their wireless voice and data services across six key factors. In order of importance, they are: performance and reliability (28%); sales representatives/account executives (21%); cost of service (18%); billing (13%); offerings and promotions (12%); and customer service (7%).

The study finds that small/medium segment business customers with access to high-speed mobile broadband connections are more satisfied with their wireless service, on average, compared with those who do not have broadband connections. Satisfaction among small/medium segment mobile broadband customers averages 682 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 643 among non-broadband users. The difference is primarily driven by satisfaction with customer service, sales representatives/account executives, and offerings and promotions—suggesting that wireless providers excel at offering incentives and are providing a variety of wireless plans to meet the business needs of their customers. In contrast, the home-based business customer segment also shows differences, but not to the degree of customers in the small/medium business customer segment.

“Clearly, there is a service advantage to offering mobile broadband capabilities to business customers, especially considering their need to be productive while traveling,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. “Being able to meet or exceed service expectations among these customers—knowing that they pay a premium price to access data at higher speeds—is critical, and having customer touch points such as care and sales representatives that cater specifically to these needs is key. This scenario is even more critical for larger businesses that have hundreds of field or sales representatives that depend on quick and dependable mobile connections to conduct day-to-day activities.”

Another factor that influences satisfaction performance is having a single point of contact for sales and service issues. Small/medium segment business customers are more likely to have a dedicated sales representative to deal with sales and customer service issues, which tends to lead to higher levels of overall customer satisfaction. On average, 51 percent of the small/medium segment customers have a dedicated single point of contact, compared with only 19 percent of home-based businesses.

In both the home-based and small/medium business segments, Verizon Wireless ranks highest in customer satisfaction, and performs particularly well in four of six factors: performance/reliability; sales reps/account executives; billing; and offerings/promotions. T-Mobile follows Verizon Wireless closely in the home-based business segment, performing well in cost of service and customer service. In the small/medium business segment, Sprint follows Verizon Wireless and performs well in the cost of service and customer service.

“The fact that Verizon Wireless ranks highest in both business segments indicates the provider’s dedication to providing not only superior overall sales service, but also high-quality network performance and reliability,” said Parsons. “Network-related issues, such as call quality and network reliability, are critical elements that greatly impact daily decision-making processes for businesses, and Verizon Wireless has done well to effectively meet the needs of their customers.”

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

 

  • The average reported monthly cost among home-based customers is $81 for wireless voice service and $31 for data service. Companies in the small/medium segment report a much higher average monthly bill amount: $536 for voice service and $297 for data service.
  • Overall, 51 percent of business decision-makers report that they currently subscribe to mobile broadband service. The incidence is higher among small/medium segment businesses, compared with home-based businesses (62% vs. 46%, respectively).
  • Slightly more than one-third (38%) of business wireless customers say they contacted a customer service representative with a question or problem within the past six months. Among these customers, 42 percent report contacting their provider due to inquiries regarding product/service plans, while 26 percent say they had issues with phone equipment malfunctions or needed replacements.

The 2011 U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction Study is based on responses from wireless service decision-makers at more than 3,172 U.S. businesses. The study was fielded between November 2010 and February 2011.

For more information on customer satisfaction with wireless service, wireless retail sales, cell phone handsets, customer care, prepaid wireless service and business wireless service, please visit JDPower.com.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and 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 and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. Leading brands include Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

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 and Associates. /corporate

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