A National Customer Service Survey was conducted by Vocalabs regarding Mobile Phone carriers. This study compared four major companies: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. From 2009-2010, Sprint made impressive improvements in customer service while other companies declined.
About This Study
The National Customer Service Survey compares the customer service quality for different companies in the same industry, using survey data and call statistics from the companies’ customers. As part of this ongoing research, we interview customers of competing companies immediately after a customer service call.
About This Release
The data in this report is based on 2,284 completed telephone interviews conducted between October 2009 and June 2010. The study involved interviews with customers of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. We collected enough data to make direct comparisons of these companies’ support effectiveness.
Consumers were recruited online to participate in this study, and called an alternate toll-free phone number for customer service. This alternate number forwarded to the company’s published customer service phone number and allowed Vocalabs to track the progress of each call. Selected participants were called back immediately after the end of the support call and interviewed about their experience.
Summary of Key Findings
Sprint made impressive improvements in phone-based customer service quality over the past quarter. Meaningful improvements for Sprint in Q2 2010 compared to Q1 2010 included:
- Seven percentage point improvement in overall satisfaction – 50% of Sprint customers said they were “Very Satisfied” with Sprint overall, compared to 42% in Q1 2010.
- Six percentage point improvement in likelihood to recommend – 70% of Sprint customers said they would recommend the company, up from 64%.
- Eight percentage point improvement in call satisfaction – 66% of Sprint customers reported they were “Very Satisfied” with the call, up from from 58%.
Over the past two quarters, customer satisfaction with Verizon has trended downwards in several areas, including:
- Fifteen percentage point decrease in loyalty – 66% of Verizon customers interviewed in Q2 2010 said they would purchase again from the company, compared to 81% of Verizon customers interviewed in Q4 2009.
- Six percentage point decrease in willingness to recommend – 78% of Verizon customers reported they would recommend the company to others in Q2 2010, down from 84% in Q4 2009.
- Nine percentage point decrease in call satisfaction– 61% of Verizon customers interviewed in Q2 2010 said they were “Very Satisfied” with the call, down from 70% in Q4 2009.
Customer service call and agent satisfaction strongly impact a customer’s willingness to repurchase and to recommend.
- Customers who said they were “Very Satisfied” with the call are 3 times as likely to purchase again from the company and 3 times as likely to recommend the company than customers who were dissatisfied with the call.
- Customers who said they were “Very Satisfied” with the agent are 3 times as likely to purchase again and twice as likely to recommend the company than customers who said they were dissatisfied with the agent.
Evaluating the Impact of Call Factors on Business Outcomes
Customer service is an inherent part of the customer experience for many businesses, and how well that service is delivered can have a profound and lasting effect on the customer’s willingness to buy again in the future. The high-level business objective in providing customer service is generally to serve the customer in the least expensive way, while having the greatest positive impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and promotion. To achieve this objective, it is critical to understand what factors under the company’s control may have a positive or negative impact on customer opinions, and which of these factors are more important in achieving a particular company’s business objectives.
To gain insight into these factors, we ask consumers a variety of questions relating to what happened during the customers’ support call, the customers’ opinions of the company and the customers’ opinions of the service received. We group this data by “Call Factors” (what happened during the call), “Call Outcomes” (customer opinions about the call), and “Business Outcomes” (customer opinions about the company and intent to purchase).
Our analysis of survey results focuses on determining which Call Factors have the greatest impact on Call Outcomes and, in turn, Business Outcomes.
Call Satisfaction and Business Outcomes
During the study period, Vocalabs interviewed 2,284 mobile phone customers immediately following a phone-based customer service experience. Of the customers surveyed, 52% said they were “Very Satisfied” with the call. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they were likely to purchase again from the Company, while 71% reported they would recommend the Company to a friend or colleague.
In analyzing the impact of call satisfaction on business outcomes, we found that 81% of customers who said they were “Very Satisfied” with the call reported they intended to repurchase from the company again, compared to 26% of those who were dissatisfied with the call. Eighty-seven percent of customers who were “Very Satisfied” with the call said they were willing to recommend the company to a friend or colleague, while 27% of customers who were dissatisfied with the call said they would recommend the company.
Comparing Service Satisfaction: AT&T, Spring, T-Mobile and Verizon
This executive summary presents results of 9 months (3 quarters) of continuous survey data from The National Customer Service Survey for Mobile Phone Customer Service. The survey measures customers’ perceptions of the quality of customer service they receive from the leading wireless providers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Results over the past two quarters show dramatic improvements at Sprint across several key customer service metrics. While Sprint is now competitive with the other major wireless providers, Verizon’s service advantage has eroded.
- Sprint made the greatest improvement in overall company satisfaction compared to the other companies in the study in Q2 2010. Fifty percent of Sprint customers reported they were “Very Satisfied” with the company, up 7 percentage points from Q1 2010. AT&T leads in overall satisfaction, with 56% of customers indicating they are “Very Satisfied” with the company.
- The four companies included in the study are in a dead heat in intent to repurchase, a key loyalty metric. Over the past 2 quarters, Verizon gave up 15 percentage points on this metric. Sixty-six percent of Verizon customers interviewed in Q2 2010 said they would purchase again from the company, compared to 81% of those interviewed in Q4 2009.
- Verizon continues to lead in willingness to recommend, but Sprint has made significant improvements in this area over the past 3 quarters. Seventy-eight percent of Verizon customers interviewed in Q2 2010 said they would recommend the company to others, down from 84% in Q4 2009. Sprint made a 6 percentage point improvement in willingness to recommend, from 64% in Q1 2010 to 70% in Q2. During the same period, T-Mobile dropped 6 percentage points on this metric, falling to 68%.
To read the full report in pdf format click here.