Feature Article

May 31, 2013

Small Business Mobile Service Satisfaction Grows, in Every Way

Overall customer satisfaction in both the very small business segment and the small/medium size business segment is significantly higher in 2013, compared with 2012, according to the J.D. Power & Associates 2013 U.S. Business Wireless Service Satisfaction Study.

Better customer service is part of the reason for the change, but satisfaction increased on every measure, including "price reasonableness."

Satisfaction with cost of service increased by 24 index points in 2013 from 2012. The largest increase is in "reasonableness of prices paid for services," with business customers in all segments perceiving more value for their money, despite increasing their spending on both voice and data services an average of $81 per month on a year-over-year basis.

Network performance and reliability improved 18 points from 2012, and 57 percent of customers indicate they receive positive feedback on network quality from their employees, a 10-percent increase from 2012.

That is significant because, among business customers who experience network connection issues, the percentage of those who will most likely switch providers in the next 12 months is nearly three times higher than the study average (27 percent compared to 10 percent, respectively).

Among customers who contacted their wireless provider's customer service during the past six months, 67 percent indicate that their problem was resolved on the first contact.

Customer spending on voice and data services has increased an average of $81 per month.

Very small business includes companies with between one and 19 employees, on a corporate service plan. Small and medium business customers are companies with between 20 and 499 employees.

The J.D. Power ranking includes measures of performance and reliability (29 percent); sales representatives and account executives (18 percent); cost of service (18 percent); offerings and promotions (14 percent); billing (12 percent); and customer service (8 percent).

In 2013, overall customer satisfaction among wireless business customers averages 694 on a 1,000-point scale, a significant increase from 674 in 2012, and improved on every measure, with customer service increasing 64 index points.

J.D. Power attributes the improvement in customer service rankings, in part, to promptness in speaking with service representatives and timeliness in resolving problems and questions.

Reduced call transfer rates and hold times were some of the changes that appeared to improve satisfaction.

Customer service contacts and inquiry rates by business customers were down 5 percent from 2012. Among customers who contacted customer service during the last six months, 67 percent indicate that their problem was resolved on the first contact, up from 62 percent in 2012.

"The ability of wireless providers to successfully resolve problems on the first contact is paramount, as customers' intention to switch their provider increases by 79 percent when more than one contact is required to resolve their problem," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power & Associates.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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