Verizon Wireless Snags No. 1 Spot In Wireless Customer Care


Verizon snagged the top spot among customer care satisfaction, according to a new J.D. Power and Associates survey, and did especially well in resolving problems in one contact.

Overall, Verizon had an index score of 103, followed by Alltel (102), T-Mobile (100) and ATandT (97).

"The fact that Verizon Wireless performs well in resolving issues with one contact is particularly noteworthy," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement. "Overall customer care performance is three times higher among customers whose issues were resolved in one contact over the phone, compared with those who had to contact their provider more than once for the same issue."

With an increase in hold times, providers run the risk of decreasing customer satisfaction and losing customers to other providers, according to Parsons. The number of people who switch carriers is 83 percent higher among customers who are put on hold, compared with those who aren't.

Sponsored post

The 2008 Wireless Customer Care Performance Study--conducted between February and June 2008--was based on responses from more than 11,000 wireless customers who contacted their provider's customer care department within the past year. The survey studied telephone calls with a service representative and/or automated response system, visits to a retail wireless store and via the Internet.

"Customer care centers and service representatives are under pressure to handle the increase in inquiries, while still trying to understand and resolve the customer's issue on the initial contact," noted Parsons.

Based on responses, the survey found that the average amount of time wireless customers spend on hold before speaking with a customer service representative in 2008 is 4.4 minutes, up 34 percent from the average hold time of 3.3 minutes in 2003.

"As customers try new and increasingly complex wireless phone services and products--such as playing MP3 files, capturing still pictures or video or downloading ring tones--they are more likely to call their provider for support," said Parsons.

Among the customer care patterns that emerged from the survey: customers who bypass phone support and visit the provider's retail store waited an average of seven minutes before speaking to a representative; and the average number of reported phone contacts needed to resolve a customer inquiry was 1.76, down from 1.91 contacts in the last reporting period.