Wireless Carriers Achieve Record High Satisfaction with Business Customers During Pandemic, but Challenges Loom on the Horizon, J.D. Power Finds
T-Mobile Ranks Highest in All Three Segments for Fourth Consecutive Year
In March of 2020, as virtually every aspect of routine business was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, one critical piece of technology kept the world connected without interruption or slowdown: the mobile phone. Accordingly, business wireless customers have responded with the highest-ever customer satisfaction scores for wireless carriers in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction Study,SM released today. However, as deferred billing that amassed under the Keep America Connected pledge comes due, some of these high scores may be compromised.
“Wireless has been a lifeline for business customers during the pandemic, and carriers really rose to the occasion by reliably delivering superb performance in connectivity, call quality and customer service,” said Ian Greenblatt, managing director of technology, media & telecom at J.D. Power. “The industry also rallied around the Keep America Connected pledge, whereby every major carrier agreed not to terminate service to residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay. However, that initiative ended June 30 and many small business customers may be facing accumulated bills and collection efforts that could negatively affect their perception in the coming weeks and months.”
Following are some key findings of the 2020 study:
- Record high satisfaction in depths of pandemic: Overall satisfaction climbed to record-high levels across all segments of business wireless customers. Large enterprise business customer satisfaction averages 866 (on a 1,000-point scale), an increase of 24 points from 2019. Small/medium business customer satisfaction averages 842, up 25 points from 2019, and satisfaction among very small business customers averages 795, up 7 points from a year ago.
- Very small businesses lag larger counterparts on customer satisfaction: While scores are up across all business segments, the gap between large and very small businesses is significant. Satisfaction among large enterprise customers is 24 points higher than among small/medium businesses and 71 points higher than for very small businesses. This gap is largely due to the lack of a dedicated account representative among very small business customers.
- For smaller businesses, online customer care outperforms phone-based support: Online customer service significantly outperforms phone-based customer service among small/medium business and very small business customers. Phone-based support continues to edge out digital in the large enterprise segment.
T-Mobile (887) ranks highest in the large enterprise segment for a fourth consecutive year. AT&T (871) ranks second.
T-Mobile (880) ranks highest in the small/medium business segment for a fourth consecutive year.
Very Small Business
T-Mobile (835) ranks highest in the very small business segment for a fourth consecutive year. Verizon Wireless (805) ranks second.
The 2020 U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction Study measures satisfaction across six factors: performance and reliability; customer service; sales representatives and account executives; billing; cost of service; and offerings and promotions. Overall satisfaction is measured among three key segments: large enterprise (500 or more employees); small/medium business (20-499 employees); very small business (1-19 employees).
The study is based on responses from 2,787 business decision-makers for wireless services in the United States and includes evaluations of their wireless carriers. The study was fielded in July-August 2020.
For more information about the U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction Study visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/resource/us-business-wireless-customer-satisfaction-study.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world's leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.
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