T-Mobile leads the pack for Fourth Year in a Row
The COVID-19 pandemic could have been devastating for wireless carriers and their connectivity offerings. As more people worked from home offices, wireless networks’ signal strength was being tested more than they had been in quite some time, which could have led to a lot of unhappy customers. According to the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Business Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study however, the carriers fared just fine with their subscribers. In fact, business wireless customers responded with the highest-ever customer satisfaction scores.
J.D. Power warns that when the deferred billing that happened under the Keep Americans Connected pledge comes due the high scores might be comprised, however.
“Wireless has been a lifeline for business customers during the pandemic, and carriers really rose to the occasion by reliably delivering superb performance in connectivity, call quality and customer service,” Ian Greenblatt, managing director of technology, media & telecom at J.D. Power said when the survey results were announced. “The industry also rallied around the Keep America Connected pledge, whereby every major carrier agreed not to terminate service to residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay. However, that initiative ended June 30 and many small business customers may be facing accumulated bills and collection efforts that could negatively affect their perception in the coming weeks and months.”
In the meantime, carriers can enjoy the high satisfaction marks they received during such a trying time. The study, which measures business customers’ overall satisfaction with their current wireless service provider, takes six factors into account: performance and reliability, offerings and promotions, cost of service, sales representatives and account executives, billing, and customer service. Small businesses (1-19 employees), small to mid-size businesses (20-499 employees) and large enterprises (500+ employees) are all part of the survey.
Overall satisfaction reached record highs across all segments of business wireless customers—large businesses averaged a customer satisfaction score of 866 (out of 1,000), for a 24-point increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, small to medium businesses’ satisfaction average increased 24 points from a year ago, and satisfaction among very small business customers went up seven points. T-Mobile finished first among the major carriers in customer satisfaction in all three-business size categories for the fourth consecutive year.
Can wireless carriers maintain high customer satisfaction in 2021?
Customers viewed their wireless carriers favorably in 2020 according to the J.D. Power U.S. Business Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study, but that was last year. The pandemic is still going on in the U.S. and there is still a large portion of people working from home depending on reliable connectivity. This is no time for carriers to scale back on their efforts.
If carriers are going keep their customers’ satisfaction levels high, it will likely do so with strong customer service. This not only entails technical support when something goes wrong, but also product delivery and providing device authentication, authorization and startup services. It’s these factors, not technology or the promise of 5G, that left customers so impressed last year. If carriers can put forth a similar effort in 2021, they will increase the chances of seeing high customer satisfaction scores in next year’s J.D. Power survey—even as the bill comes due following the Keep American Connected pledge.
Joe Dyton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.