T-Mobile Tops Customer Satisfaction Survey

by Matt Klassen on June 16, 2016

Graph-1-Full-Service-Carrier-RankingsWhile T-Mobile may not have scored the highest marks in a new report from Market Force Information regarding network coverage, for data speeds, or even for most reliable service, its ongoing un-carrier campaign has demonstrated, without a doubt, that none of those things really matter in generating overall customer satisfaction.

In fact, in the recent survey of 8,600 mobile customers, T-Mobile edged out Verizon for top spot in customer satisfaction (with AT&T a distant 3rd and Sprint so far in 4th that they didn’t seem to be in the conversation at all), and that was despite the fact Verizon scored highest in all the aforementioned traditional network metrics. What T-Mobile was able to do, however, was win the hearts of the people by providing them with the best value, the most flexibility, the greatest ease of changing plans, and the best access to “new cell technology.”

Aside from ranking first in satisfaction while not topping the charts in any of the traditional performance categories, what’s even stranger is that T-Mobile placed last among nationwide carriers regarding the frequency of dropped calls, yet despite that, has watched its satisfied subscriber base continue to grow.

So what does this tell us? First, traditional network metrics don’t matter. As Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure noted recently, the difference between networks these days is negligible, with often a difference of 1% in network reliability between the top four nationwide networks. With that in mind, perhaps it’s no surprise that Verizon was able to top all of the performance related categories, yet come in second in customer satisfaction, because it clearly lags behind in one vitally important category: value.

Second, it tells us that wireless customers are more satisfied when they feel a company cares about their needs, as opposed to a company simply providing the best network technology. T-Mobile has gone out of its way of late to present its un-carrier promotion as a campaign for the little guy, finally changing the way customers interacting with carriers. Verizon, on the other hand, has resisted all such changes, holding steadfast to its domineering control over its customers, which in turn leaves many people feeling that they’re paying far more than customers of other companies, but getting very little extra in return.

Aside from demonstrating that value and customer care lead to satisfaction far better than network technology and performance, the survey showed something else, that T-Mobile, despite its third place among nationwide carriers, is quickly moving into second place in terms of competition for Verizon, the nation’s largest carrier by subscribers.

AT&T had a decent showing, not scoring tops in any category and tied just once for last in terms of plan flexibility, but it seems to clearly be sliding into third place, not in size, but at least in popularity. Sprint, as one might expect, had a horrendous showing, scoring at the bottom in five of nine categories.

It should also come as no surprise that when talking about establishing long term customer loyalty, it was overall value that topped coverage and data plans as the most likely reason to seek out a new carrier, which is good news for T-Mobile.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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