Direct Interaction with Agents May Elevate Customer Satisfaction
February 03, 2011
By Rajani Baburajan
, TMCnet Contributor
Customer satisfaction will increase if customer issues are handled personally by a service representative, either over the phone or at a retail store, than automated response interactions, according to the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Performance Study.
Among customers who speak with a representative without going through an automated response system, the customer care index score averages 774 on a 1,000-point scale, the research finds. This score is above the industry average score of 739. Among customers who use other methods of contact, satisfaction is considerably lower.
According to J.D. Power study, one of the main factors contributing to this performance disparity is the quality of the response provided. A service representative can answer both initial and follow-up questions from customers and clarify answers. This kind of flexibility is limited in both ARS and Web-based contacts.
“As more companies encourage customers to contact them on the Web to save operating costs, they run the risk of increased customer churn if the number of contacts needed to resolve a complaint or issue rises,” said Kirk Parsons (News - Alert), senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement.
“Switching intent is four times as high among those who rate their wireless carrier below average in customer care, so the challenge for wireless carriers is to offer an easy and efficient customer care transaction experience,” Parsons said.
About 51 percent of telephone contacts are resolved primarily via a service representative. According to the study, customers are most satisfied with their experience when they can reach a representative quickly and spend only a brief period of time using automated systems to resolve their problem.
T-Mobile (News - Alert) ranks highest in wireless customer care performance for a second consecutive time with an overall score of 758. T-Mobile performs particularly well in phone contacts that originate in the ARS channel and are then transferred to a live service representative, and through phone calls made directly to a CSR (News - Alert).
J.D.Power and Associates announced that as per the 2010 U.S. Residential Telephone Customer Satisfaction Study, the customer satisfaction with residential telephone service has increased for a second consecutive time, primarily because of gains in satisfaction with the customer service experience.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein