Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Making Nice to Win You Over

You would think this would be a no brainer, but I guess it took some highly paid super geniuses at the network operators to figure out that being nice to customers just might reduce churn. The Los Angeles Times reports the four top U.S. carriers are "polishing their manners in the wake of customer satisfaction surveys that rank them below HMOs and cable TV companies."

The article discusses the efforts taking place in the industry to improve customer satisfaction and notes that the number of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission "dropped 16% in the first nine months this year from the same period last year. The number of gripes about billing and rates — by far the biggest single category — fell 13%."

However a recent study by J.D. Power & Associates found "that overall satisfaction with wireless service providers dropped 10% over last year, the biggest year-over-year change since it began studying such performance in 1995."

Kirk Parsons at J.D. Power pointed out that "Normally, the FCC only gets people who are really mad, so the complaints are not like a general consumer study and are not representative of the country as a whole."

Charles Golvin at Forrester remarked that the firm's recent survey showed "customer satisfaction with cellphones continued to drop, though at a slower pace. The results also showed that the level of dissatisfaction fell dramatically." Golvin said, "It says to me that people are more and more resigned to the service they get. The overall trend is a move toward apathy.