AT&T tops when it comes to 'wireless purchase experience'

AT&T has won the latest Wireless Purchase Experience award, by J.D. Power. Price consistency—or the alignment between advertised price and the price that actually shows up on a customer's bill—is a critical driver of customer satisfaction with the wireless purchase experience, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance StudySM–Volume 2 and the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance StudySM–Volume 2, both released today.

"Increased customer awareness of taxes and hidden fees on their wireless bills is clearly starting to have an effect on the overall purchase experience," said Peter Cunningham, technology, media & telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power. "The good news for wireless companies is that there is a huge opportunity to win the hearts and minds of customers by simply delivering better consistency between advertised and actual pricing. Those who recognize this issue and effectively address it will go a long way toward shedding the 'used car dealer' stigma that is growing among consumers regarding wireless carriers." There is also a new retail store design focused on entertainment to provide the connection and content customers want. AT&T is committed to continuing their leadership in the industry and this new store design will keep us aligned with existing and new customers’ desires.

Following are key findings from the studies: Price consistency builds customer satisfaction: Overall satisfaction with the wireless purchase experience is notably higher (872 on a 1,000-point scale) among customers who say the advertised prices for services and/or products received from their carrier are "very consistent" with the actual prices vs. among those who say their pricing is either "very inconsistent" or "somewhat inconsistent" (709). Unexpected costs are commonplace: Only 62% of customers say the advertised prices for services and/or products received from their carrier are "very consistent" with the actual prices. In-store sales reps play critical role: Overall satisfaction is 93 points higher among customers who are met by a store greeter (842) vs. among those who are not (749), and 91 points higher among customers who say their store sales representative offered to explain or demonstrate device operations (853) vs. among those who did not (762). Additionally, when store representatives explain components of a customer's bill, those customers are far more likely to report that advertised prices were "very consistent" with actual prices. Incentives improve perception of price consistency: Customers who say they received an incentive for purchasing services from their carrier are more likely than those who did not receive an incentive to say that advertised prices were "very consistent" with actual prices: 64% vs. 51%, respectively. Study Rankings AT&T ranks highest among wireless full-service carriers, with an overall score of 823. MetroPCS ranks highest among non-contract full-service carriers with a score of 810, and Consumer Cellular ranks highest among non-contract value carriers with a score of 863. About the Studies Now in their 14th year, the U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study and U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study evaluate the wireless purchase experience of customers who use any one of three purchase channels: phone calls with sales representatives; visits to a retail wireless store; or online/website. Overall purchase experience satisfaction with both full-service and non-contract carriers is measured in six factors (in order of importance): store sales representative; website; offerings and promotions; phone sales representative; store facility; and cost of service. The 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study–Volume 2 is based on responses from 6,703 full-service customers. The 2017 U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study–Volume 2 is based on responses from 3,011 non-contract customers. Both studies are based on the experiences of current wireless service customers who made a sales transaction with their current carrier within the previous three months. The studies were fielded from January through June 2017. For more information about the J.D. Power U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Performance Study and the U.S. Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Performance Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-wireless-purchase-experience-satisfaction-study.