What makes T-Mobile and Consumer Cellular a favorite of consumers in the latest customer survey conducted by Market Force Information
The domestic telecom space is a highly competitive environment, with four nationwide operators battling tooth-and-nail to attract new customers. That battle includes both stealing customers from rivals as well as protecting those they have from the same sentiment.
This competitive nature and strategies have pushed mobile carriers to become more appealing to consumers in terms of value while at the same time trying to grow – or at least maintain – their financial positions.
On this week’s Carrier Wrap, we spoke with Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer at Market Force Information, about the firm’s recent consumer survey that found T-Mobile US topping Verizon Wireless as the nation’s favorite full-service wireless operator.
The survey included comments from more than 8,600 consumers through an online survey conducted in May – with women making up 73% of those surveyed – who were asked to rate “their satisfaction with their primary wireless carrier and its services, as well as their likelihood to refer that brand to others.” Results were posted in the form of a score on Market Force’s Composite Loyalty Index.
T-Mobile US garnered the top spot just ahead of Verizon Wireless, with AT&T Mobility a distant No. 3 and Sprint a further distant No. 4. T-Mobile US was applauded for satisfaction in terms of value, ease of changing plans, plan flexibility and access to “new cell technology,” though was last among nationwide carriers in terms of frequency of dropped calls.
Verizon Wireless topped the survey in terms of network coverage, fastest data speeds, fewest dropped calls, “strength of calls” and new device technology. However, the carrier was dinged in terms of value.
AT&T Mobility was a solid middle player, not quite getting a top score in any one category, and tied just once for last place in terms of plan flexibility. Sprint scored the bottom spot in five categories, though did manage a No. 2 ranking in terms of plan flexibility.
Tackling regional and prepaid-focused wireless operators, mobile virtual network operator Consumer Cellular topped the survey, followed by AT&T Mobility’s Cricket brand and TracFone’s StraightTalk offering. Consumer Cellular, which runs across AT&T Mobility’s network, was tops in seven question topics, with the other two topics won by U.S. Cellular (new device technology) and Cricket (new cell technology).
Market Force noted noncontract wireless providers scored higher satisfaction levels when compared to “full-service” carriers.
In terms of what the numbers mean for customer loyalty, Market Force found nearly three quarters of those surveyed had been with their current carrier for at least two years, with just 12% stating any inclination to swap carriers over the next year. For those that did state the possibility of switching, price was the overwhelming reason, followed by improved network coverage and more flexible plans.
Carriers noted as being the most likely to lose customers over the next year were Sprint and its prepaid offshoot Boost Mobile, with AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless seen as the least likely to lose customers.
Make sure to check us out again next week when we are scheduled to speak with Apteligent about its carrier network performance rankings.
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