T-Mobile ranks highest in customer satisfaction among major US wireless carrier-owned retail stores for a fourth consecutive time with a score of 739 out of 1,000, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Retail Sales Satisfaction Study, Volume 1. T-Mobile performs particularly well in price and promotions, such as competitiveness of service plans and devices offered. Sprint Nextel (730) follows T-Mobile in the rankings and also performs well in price and promotions.
The industry average is 729, no other carrier scored above this figure. Number three AT&T came the closest at 727. Overall customer satisfaction with major wireless carrier-branded stores is based on four factors: staff (49%); price and promotion (27%); store facility (14%); and store display (10%).
Transaction Time Takes Away Satisfaction
The study finds that as the amount of time spent during the wireless retail sales transaction increases, customer satisfaction generally declines. Among customers who wait longer than two minutes to be greeted when entering the retail facility, overall satisfaction is 103 points lower than among those who are greeted within two minutes (762 vs. 659 on a 1,000-point scale).
Time Spent Explaining is Positive, However
This decline in satisfaction holds true for all stages of the sales process with one crucial exception: the time taken to explain the wireless device operation. In fact, satisfaction increases as the time spent explaining the device’s operation increases. Overall satisfaction among customers who receive an explanation in less than one minute is 740, compared with 758 among those who receive an explanation between five and 10 minutes in length. The average reported time to explain device operation is six minutes.
Shopping Time Also Satisfies
Overall satisfaction with the retail sales process decreases dramatically when customers are not given adequate time to shop due to pressure from the salesperson to rush the sales process. Satisfaction among customers who indicate having experienced this kind of pressure during the sales process averages 124 points lower (630) than among customers who indicate not having experienced pressure (754).
- Nearly three-fourths of customers indicate that a salesperson offered to explain the number of plan minutes during their most recent visit, a decrease of four percentage points from six months ago. Four in 10 customers indicate having been shown a coverage map or an explanation of the latest technology, an increase of four percentage points during the same time period.
- The average total time customers spent in the retail store to complete the sales transaction was approximately 57 minutes, an increase of one minute compared with six months ago.
- Satisfaction with the retail experience among smartphone owners is 24 points higher than among owners of traditional handsets (742 compared to 718, respectively). Overall retail sales satisfaction among new smartphone owners of devices that run on the Android OS platform is higher, due mainly to aggressive price/promotion activities.
- More than one-half (56%) of wireless customers visit their retailer to upgrade or replace a phone from their current carrier. Renewing or changing an existing wireless plan (38%) and purchasing a new device (31%) round out the top reasons customers cite for having visited a retail store within the past six months.
T-Mobile Also Tops Wireless Customer Care Rankings
T-Mobile ranks highest in wireless customer care performance for a second consecutive time with an overall score of 758, according to the recently released J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Performance Study, Volume 1. T-Mobile performs particularly well in phone contacts that originate in the ARS channel and are then transferred to a live service representative, and through phone calls made directly to a CSR.
Verizon Wireless follows in the overall rankings with a score of 743 and performs well among customers who contact their service representative directly and among customers who contact their carrier online.
About the Data: The 2011 U.S. Wireless Retail Sales Satisfaction Study, Volume 1 is based on experiences reported by 8,501 wireless customers who completed a retail sales transaction within the past six months. The study was fielded between July and December 2010 and is the source of the enclosed chart.