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Customer Satisfaction Rising at the USA's Independent Phone Retailers

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Improvements in the perceived value for the price paid for devices, as well as exceeding customer expectations in pricing and promotional offerings, contribute to an increase in customer satisfaction among USA wireless customers who complete a sales transaction via independent retail outlets, according to J.D. Power.

The survey found that overall purchase experience satisfaction among full-service wireless customers who visited non-carrier-owned stores, such as national retailers and authorized dealers, is 792 (on a 1,000-point scale), compared with 805 among those who visited store owned by the mobile network.

The overall purchase experience index has improved by 52 points since 2011 among full-service wireless customers who shopped and purchased at a non-carrier-owned retail location.

Satisfaction in the cost of service and offerings and promotions factors increases the most since 2011 (73 and 58 points, respectively) among customers of non-carrier-owned stores. In fact, satisfaction in cost of service and offerings and promotions among these customers match or exceed satisfaction among customers of carrier-owned branded stores.

With respect to the purchase experience attributes evaluated in the study, the largest increase in satisfaction is in variety of phone/devices offered, with a 77-point improvement over the same three-year period.

Company-owned branded stores still generate significantly higher purchase experience scores in the store sales representative channel vs. non-carrier-owned retail outlets (809 vs. 795, respectively).

A larger percentage of full-service wireless customers shop at non-carrier-owned stores for a new cellphone/device than at carrier-owned branded stores (24% vs. 19%, respectively).

The average total time customers spend completing a sales transaction in a full-service retail store is approximately 55 minutes-an increase of approximately two minutes from six months ago. In comparison, customers purchasing from non-contract carriers spend an average of 56 minutes in a retail store.

"It's encouraging to see general improvements in the purchase experience among non-carrier-owned stores. This segment has started to grow in popularity as the variety of devices for both contract and prepaid services is improving, and the very competitive price promotions offered have provided a viable alternative in shopping for wireless services," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of the telecommunications services practice at J.D. Power.

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Tags: USA