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Smartphone Users More Satisfied with Service than Tradition Handset Users

September 17, 2009

With the number of smartphone users on the rise, it seems as though wireless carrier stories are providing smartphone customers with a more appealing retail scenario than traditional handset models.

According to J.D. Power and Associate’s 2009 “Wireless Retail Sales Satisfaction Study – Volume 2,” which analyzes evaluations from customers with recent wireless retail experiences, customers using smartphones are more satisfied with their retail experience.

Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates, said that in such a competitive landscape, and with pressure to increase the share of customers using smartphones, wireless carriers have continued to provide their customers with appealing promotional offerings such as rebates on equipment and discounted unlimited service. 

In regards to wireless customer satisfaction, the results are based on four factors broken down as follows:

·         Sales staff: 49 percent
·         Price and promotion: 27 percent
·         Story facility: 14 percent
·         Display: 10 percent

Customer satisfaction, as evidenced by the four above criteria, among smartphone owners averages 15 index points higher, on a 1,000-point scale, than that of traditional wireless handset owners.

"It is critical for wireless retailers to be knowledgeable about smartphone models and service plans options available and to display a high level of courtesy during the sales process to ensure satisfaction levels continue to improve," Parsons said.

On average, satisfaction with the retail experience among owners of smartphones averages 722, while among owners of traditional models have a satisfaction score of 707.

And, despite paying, on average, $23 more a month, and complying with the additional service plan options smartphones typically require, this further proves the movement of mobile users in the smart industry.

When comparing specific providers, T-Mobile ranks highest in customer satisfaction among major wireless carrier-owned retail stores with a score of 729, with Alltel at 721 and Verizon Wireless at 714 following. 

Overall satisfaction with the retail sales process will decreasey when key activities that gain the customers attention are not performed by sales staff. 

For instance, satisfaction is 139 index points lower when a salesperson fails to offer to explain how to operate a phone, which is particularly important among smartphone users and customers who purchase feature-rich handsets. 

Parsons said that by explaining a specific device, sales representatives are showing smartphone users how to best utilize advanced feature sets and optimize the wireless experience on their particular phone.

"If the representative can optimize the customer's service plan in any way or inform them of new options or available features, the customer will leave with greater loyalty to the retailer and be more likely to return,” Parsons said.

Kelly McGuire is a ContactCenterSolutions Editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan