A recently released J.D. Power and Associates study has found users who subscribe to data-share plans are happier with their carrier’s overall customer service than those who are on more traditional wireless plans. The company’s 11th annual U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study examined the performance of carriers’ customer service in three ways: in person, online and via telephone.
The biggest gap in satisfaction between shared data and traditional plan users when it came to service was that provided by a customer representative, in which the timeliness of resolving issues and the knowledge of the representative were identified as the biggest issues.
“The higher levels of satisfaction with shared data plans are partially due to the profile of its customers, particularly the early adopters who changed service offerings once the mobile data share plans were offered,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates, in a press release. “For example, not only are customers with shared data plans more loyal than those without a shared data plan, but they also have a more positive perception of their carrier, in addition to spending approximately $30 more per household overall.”
Overall, customers report the highest level of satisfaction from utilizing an online chat function to solve problems, a service used by 41 per cent of mobile users. Nearly 70 per cent of people report using a mobile app to contact their carrier or monitor their account.
Those with data-share plans were found to have contacted their carrier more frequently in the previous six months than others with traditional plans, but reported longer wait times to speak with a representative.
“It’s not unexpected that customers who change or upgrade to these new mobile data share plans would initially be more likely to contact their carrier with questions or problems, particularly concerning how these service plans may potentially alter usage habits,” said Parsons. “It is important to understand that with any major service change, the need for simplicity is paramount. Additional investment is needed in support services to not only handle the increase in the number of customer interactions, but also provide service representatives with the necessary training and information across all contact channels to offer a timely and superior service experience.”
The study also ranked carriers when it comes to customer care satisfaction, with Verizon topping the list, followed by AT&T and Sprint Nextel. MetroPCS took the top spot in non-contract carriers, with Virgin Mobile and TracFone rounding out the top three.
Based on its research, J.D. Power recommends when choosing a carrier that customers ensure its technology is proven and that adequate customer service will be provided. It suggests the first point of reference when seeking information should be the carrier’s website, where the online chat option should be utilized.
“Many customers find online chat an especially efficient method of solving problems and getting questions answered,” stated the J.D. Power recommendations.
Finally, realize when buying into new technology you can encounter glitches which will result in you having to make contact with the carrier in one form or another.