J.D. PowerSatisfaction among wireless customers who completed a sales transaction at non-carrier retail outlets improved last year, according to J.D. Power & Associates, driven higher by the perceived value of devices and pricing and promotional offerings that exceeded customer expectations.

Based on customer responses, J.D. Power rated overall purchase satisfaction among full-service wireless customers who made purchases at non-carrier-owned stores, such as national retailers and authorized dealers, 792 on a 1,000-point scale. Correspondingly, the tally for overall satisfaction across carrier-owned outlets was 805.

AT&T ranked highest among full-service carriers, with Boost Mobile ranking highest among non-contract carriers.

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Other key findings in Volume 1 of J.D. Power’s, “2014 Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Study” and “2014 Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Study,” include:

  • The overall purchase experience index has improved by 52 points since 2011 among full-service wireless customers who shopped and purchased at a non-carrier-owned retail location.
  • Satisfaction in the cost of service and offerings and promotions increased the most since 2011 (73 and 58 points, respectively) among customers of non-carrier-owned stores. In fact, satisfaction in cost of service and offerings and promotions among these customers match or exceed satisfaction among customers of carrier-owned branded stores.
  • With respect to the purchase experience attributes evaluated in the study, the largest increase in satisfaction is in variety of phone/devices offered, with a 77-point improvement over the same three-year period.
  • Company-owned branded stores still generate significantly higher purchase experience scores in the store sales representative channel vs. non-carrier-owned retail outlets (809 vs. 795, respectively).
  • A larger percentage of full-service wireless customers shop at non-carrier-owned stores for a new cellphone/device than at carrier-owned branded stores (24% vs. 19%, respectively).
  • The average total time customers spend completing a sales transaction in a full-service retail store is approximately 55 minutes–an increase of approximately two minutes from six months ago. In comparison, customers purchasing from non-contract carriers spend an average of 56 minutes in a retail store.

“It’s encouraging to see general improvements in the purchase experience among non-carrier-owned stores. This segment has started to grow in popularity as the variety of devices for both contract and prepaid services is improving, and the very competitive price promotions offered have provided a viable alternative in shopping for wireless services,” J.D. Power senior director of telecommunications services practice Kirk Parsons was quoted in a press release.

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