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The next major battle for wireless companies? Customer Loyalty

Consumer Reports routinely shows that cell phone service providers are one of, if not the, worst in terms of customer satisfaction rankings. While Sprint now occupies last place in the latest Consumer Reports survey, AT&T has consistently been dead last in recent years. In fact, Consumer Reports has found that the cell phone provider with the highest marks was prepaid operator Consumer Cellular.
By
May 8, 2014
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports routinely shows that cell phone service providers are one of, if not the, worst in terms of customer satisfaction rankings. While Sprint now occupies last place in the latest Consumer Reports survey, AT&T has consistently been dead last in recent years. In fact, Consumer Reports has found that the cell phone provider with the highest marks was no-contract operator Consumer Cellular.

According to Forrester’s wireless customer satisfaction rankings, U.S. Cellular is the only telecom operator of any kind to rank “good” on their scale with T-Mobile faring the worst. Therefore, customer loyalty might prove to be an issue for US carriers in the next year, according to new data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

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Over the next 12 months, 44 percent of feature phone owners planning to get a smartphone are at the very least considering switching current carriers, Kantar reported Wednesday. A little over one-quarter of feature phone owners will be switching carriers in the next year.

But, Kantar also found that:

  • 91 percent of Verizon’s current smartphone customers have no plans of going elsewhere
  • 89 percent of T-Mobile customers have no plans of going elsewhere
  • 83 percent of AT&T customers have no plans of going elsewhere
  • 74 percent of Sprint customers have no plans of going elsewhere

So, what ultimately determines a customer’s loyalty?

“The data points collected from smartphone owners and intenders indicate that while device portfolios and customer care are important, the real battleground in carriers’ acquisition and retention is quality of service and competitive pricing,” Kantar Worldpanel Comtech Chief of Research Carolina Milanesi wrote in a statement.

Several weeks ago, Daniel Hesse, chief executive of Sprint, cited a survey that found that the reputation of wireless carriers had dropped to the lowest level among any major industry:

“Even the cable and oil industries rated higher than we do,” he said.

Gee, I wonder why? Could it be due to…….

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