J.D. PowerThe availability of non-carrier online and in-store purchasing options is complicating the sales process for wireless carriers, according to a couple of new wireless customer satisfaction studies from J.D. Power.

The studies are J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study-Volume 2 and the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study-Volume 2.

Wireless Customer Satisfaction
The studies found that customer satisfaction is lower at non-carrier stores than at carrier stores, that Amazon accounts for 31% of all online purchases and that the perception is that non-carrier websites are easier to navigate. The perception of easier navigation was found despite the fact that it takes the same number of Web pages to complete a purchase whether the site is associated with a carrier or non-carrier.

The ratings work on a 1,000 point scale. Full-service carriers had an average satisfaction level of 838. T-Mobile was highest at 854 (compared to 855 in volume 1 of the study). The average for non-full-service carriers was 843, with Cricket leading at 857 (up from 849 in volume 1). The average for non-contract carriers was 847. Consumer Cellular led at 888 (866 in volume 1).

The bottom line is that the landscape is growing more competitive. “In a wireless market experiencing fewer device sales and less frequent switching, carriers need to re-evaluate in-store and online purchase offerings,” Ian Greenblatt, Technology, Media & Telecom Practice Lead at J.D. Power, said in a press release. “An increasing number of wireless customers are turning to general retail stores and websites instead of carrier-owned options, even though customer satisfaction scores are consistently higher for carrier-owned stores and websites. Getting the formula right to keep customers engaged with their brands throughout the purchase experience is critical as the market continues to mature.”

The first edition of the purchase experience research was released in February. Factors that are used in determining the scores are knowledge and courtesy of in-store and phone representatives, website appearance, ease of navigation and cost of service.

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