AT&T zips past Verizon to reclaim the J.D. Power customer service ranking's top

AT&T zips past Verizon to reclaim the J.D. Power customer service ranking's top
America's second largest carrier AT&T just toppled the first one to score a first place in customer satisfaction ranking by J.D. Power. Usually with a top occupied by Verzion, the survey covers three aspects of customer service - phone assistance, online support and in-store associates.

As a whole, the industry itself has taken it up a notch, with the highest levels of customer service since 2009, despite that the other two biggies - Sprint and T-Mobile - are slipping through the cracks with below industry average numbers. 

MetroPCS wins the love of the prepaid crowd, and we were certainly intrigued to find out that "nearly one-fifth (17%) of full-service customers indicate that they have used YouTube to resolve a problem regarding their wireless service."

J.D. Power Reports: Overall Customer Care Satisfaction Rises as Wireless Customers Use Online Chat Feature More Frequently Due To Improved Capabilities

AT&T Ranks Highest in Wireless Customer Care Performance among Full-Service Carriers,While MetroPCS Ranks Highest among Non-Contract Carriers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Satisfaction with wireless carriers' customer care service has increased to its highest level since 2009, as the online channel, especially the chat function, has increased in both frequency of use and performance, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance StudySM-Volume 2 and the 2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance StudySM-Volume 2, both released today.

Now in their 11th year, these semiannual studies offer a detailed report card on how well wireless carriers provide customer service via three main contact channels: telephone (which consists of three sub-channels -Automated Response System (ARS) then Customer Service Representative (CSR); CSR only; and ARS only); walk-in (retail store); and online. The studies measure satisfaction with each contact method and analyzes processing issues, such as the efficiency of problem resolution and the duration of hold times.

KEY FINDINGS

Among full-service wireless customers who solve their issue online, 42 percent indicate having used the chat function, up 6 percentage points from 2011 Vol. 2.

Among customers contacting via the online channel, overall satisfaction is highest when the chat function is used (784).

More than two-thirds (69%) of non-contract customers indicate they have a carrier-based account management application on their phone to track usage, review their plan and contact their carrier. Satisfaction is 93 points higher among customers with a carrier-based app than among those without one.

Nearly one-fifth (17%) of full-service customers indicate that they have used YouTube to resolve a problem regarding their wireless service.
Overall satisfaction among full-service customers who most recently contacted their carrier with service questions or issues is 786 (on a 1,000-point scale). This is a 31-point increase from just 6 months ago and is now the highest level of satisfaction reached since the study moved to the 1,000-point scale in 2009. The same pattern holds true among non-contract customers, for whom overall satisfaction is at an all-time high since 2012 (732), with an increase of 34 points from 6 months ago.

While satisfaction levels have risen in all three main full-service contact channels, the online channel has improved the most, with a 52-point increase. This improvement is due to the increasingly innovative online chat functions and technologies that carriers are rolling out to their customers to help facilitate the care process as customers become more comfortable with this contact alternative vs. more traditional channels, such as telephone and walk-in. For example, the overall incidence of wireless customers using the online channel for their most recent care experience has risen from 9 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2013. Within the online channel, the chat feature has become the leading contact source, as 42 percent of full-service customers indicate using a live online chat feature vs. email (23%) or other social media forum (16%). Additionally, online satisfaction is highest among customers who use the chat feature (784), compared with among those using other forums to find information (756), indicating the importance of personalized service and knowledgeable representatives.

"The higher levels of satisfaction with online chat are partially due to the efficiency and immediacy of the experience, particularly with service issues or questions that are easier to resolve in this environment, such as billing or service/device questions pertaining to upgrades," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of the telecom services practice at J.D. Power. "However, as carriers release new products and services to meet consumer demand, such automated systems as online chat must continue to evolve to address harder-to-answer questions related to technology support, as customers gain confidence in using alternative contact channels for convenience-related reasons."

Study Rankings

For the first-time, AT&T ranks highest in wireless customer care satisfaction among full-service carriers, with an overall score of 795. AT&T performs particularly well in the walk-in and online contact channels and ranks above the full-service average in four of the five service channels.
For the second consecutive reporting period, MetroPCS ranks highest in overall wireless customer care satisfaction among non-contract carriers, with an overall score of 770. MetroPCS performs above the non-contract average in the telephone and online channels.
The 2013 Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study-Volume 2 is based on responses from 7,373 wireless customers. The 2013 Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study-Volume 2 is based on responses from 3,235 wireless customers. Both studies are based on the experiences of current customers who contacted their carrier's customer care department within the past six months. The study was fielded from January 2013 through June 2013.

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores (Based on a 1,000-point scale)
2013 Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study-Volume 2

AT&T
795
Verizon Wireless
790
Full-Service Average
786
Sprint Nextel
771
T-Mobile
760

2013 Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study-Volume 2

MetroPCS
770
Cricket
750
Virgin Mobile
733
Non-Contract Average
732
Boost Mobile
729
TracFone
719
Straight Talk
690
Net10
683

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14 Comments

1. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

Paid for by AT&T.

3. HASHTAG unregistered

Sure.

5. Rorschach

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

I've had AT&T for 8 years and based on my experience, they improved their quality and reliability significantly.

2. papss unregistered

I know there are many with terrible cs experiences with att but I have nothing but good things to day about them as far as being pleased with them.

4. ar2730

Posts: 42; Member since: May 24, 2012

I find that hard to believe.

6. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

In store experinces are MUCH better, from the knowledge of the sales people to the help they offer when you come in with a problem. Maybe that is driving this improvement. Because any time you call AT&T is still a horrid experince, from the automatic service it take forever to get past, having to give your information several different times, and the fact that the company is so large one side of the service is clueless as to what the other side is doing,. Heaven help you if you end up in the wrong place. They have a long, LONG way to go there.

7. jharkem17

Posts: 21; Member since: Jul 29, 2013

T-Mobile customer service is the worst..they hang up on callers and they tell you lies bigtime.

11. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

No they don't (hang up on anyone); you just drop the call on that horrid service. However, and I say this cuz it's happened to me, I once called in on behalf of my brother because he has T-Mobile (bless his poor little soul) to ask when the Galaxy Note 2 would be getting the Multi Windows update and was given Samsung's 800# and told to call Samsung.

8. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I can't say if AT&T has improved their customer experience, but I do feel that Verizon's has been slipping.

9. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Why is that so hard believe? Well I guess that depends were u live over here in los angeles the att stores I always go to pay my bill the one in east la by atlantic, the one in pico rivera every single time I walk in there they greet me at the door and tell me if I need help and I know they dont do that with me only when im there I see that they do it with every person that walks in . There's also a tmobile and verizon store in the same block in Atlantic and every single time I walk in the tmobile store its usually always empty and 3 people work there 2 guys and 1 gurl they always give u the eff off look and give u there backs and completly ignore u I felt pretty stupid walking around the store being completly ignored and I was the only one there they were all on there iphones , not even the verizon store is that bad when u walk in there they at least tell u if u need help even tho the lady that works there is a beeotch but she still helps u out.

12. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

Oh OhMar, hang in there!! One day I'll visit you in East L.A. and we can terrorize that T-Mobile store together and, then, we can head into that Verizon store and I'll put that little beeash in her rightful place - I'll just slap that Ô silly with one of my pig tails.

13. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

u ever in LA hit me up haha tht wud be coo

10. Blazers

Posts: 764; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Wow.....what a come back. For years they've been at the bottom of the tank. They haven't won a JD Powers award since the original AT&T Wireless when they were TDMA. Good job.

14. jamesedward318 unregistered

Ever since I have had AT&T I have had nothing but good things to say about them. They have been beyond helpful, polite and courteous to me and everyone that I know.

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