Thursday, December 01, 2005

In-Stat: Wireless Providers Making Modest Progress in Improving Customer Service

Following NPD Group's recent research that found most consumers were unsatisfied with their carriers for purchasing handsets, In-Stat has a new report that finds "wireless service providers are having some success in reducing customer service churn and complaint rates, but they still have significant challenges ahead."

According to In-Stat, there were "several customer service topics that received praise and complaint for each wireless carrier regarding hold times, service policies, first-call problem resolution, and customer service representative attitude."

David Chamberlain at In-Stat said, "Customer service efforts appear to be contributing both to churn rate reduction, a key factor in company financial performance, and in the reduction of the relative complaint rate. Nevertheless, a substantial number of subscribers are, or could soon become, defectors."

Key findings include:

  • In most cases, satisfaction with customer service nearly mirrors subscribers’ overall attitude toward the carrier
  • Efficient handling of billing problems is now considered one of the best parts of the customer service experience. Lengthy hold times and one-call resolution are the worst.
  • Customers are indifferent about web-based or voice-response self-care initiatives
  • Both the newest, and longest-term customers are the least likely to churn. However, among those in the middle – customers who have been with the carrier from one to two years – over 25% indicate they probably or definitely will switch to another carrier.