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Posts Tagged ‘J.D. Power’

Wireless customers buying in-store show increased satisfaction

Friday, August 10th, 2012

JD PowerImprovements in sales efficiency and exceeding customer expectations contribute to increased customer satisfaction among wireless customers who completed a sales transaction at a retail store, according to the J.D. Power and Associates wireless purchase studies.

Now in their 9th year, the semiannual studies evaluate the wireless purchase experience of customers using any one of three contact channels: phone calls with sales representatives; visits to a retail wireless store; and on the Web.

Full-service wireless customers who purchase a device in a retail store indicate experiencing greater satisfaction when speaking with the salesperson handling their transaction. In particular, satisfaction improves notably regarding the promptness in speaking with a sales representative and timeliness of completing the transaction.

Among full-service wireless customers who purchased a service plan or device in a retail store, total transaction times have improved, especially in the early stages of the sales process. For example, the total average time that customers wait between being greeted upon entering the store and speaking with a salesperson is 7.5 minutes—a decrease of nearly one full minute from 2011.

“The study shows a direct correlation between an efficient sales transaction process and improving satisfaction with the overall retail experience,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.

“Customers who make purchases in retail stores have the opportunity to touch handsets and accessories and see the pricing associated with each, something not possible over the phone or on the Web. In addition, carriers have invested heavily in the retail store environment in merchandising, store upgrades and staff training to make the overall sales experience more enjoyable and efficient.”

Parsons notes that improvements within the retail store are translating into loyalty, as 39 percent of full-service wireless customers say they “definitely will” revisit the same store, compared with 35 percent a year ago.

Wireless Purchase Experience Study Results
For a third consecutive time, Sprint Nextel ranks highest in overall customer purchase experience satisfaction among major full-service wireless carriers. Sprint Nextel achieves a score of 775 and performs particularly well in the offerings and promotions and cost of service factors.

TracFone ranks highest in overall customer purchase experience satisfaction among non-contract service carriers. TracFone achieves a score of 763 and performs particularly well in the phone sales representative and website factors. Boost Mobile (758) and MetroPCS (758) follow in the rankings.

The study also finds the following key wireless retail sales transaction patterns:

  • While 64 percent of full-service customers indicate that their most recent purchase experience occurred in a retail store, 18 percent used the phone, and an additional 18 percent transacted online. This differs considerably from non-contract customers—25 percent say their most recent purchase transaction occurred online, and only 12 percent indicate that it was via phone.
  • Satisfaction with the overall purchase experience among other retailers, such as Apple, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack and Wal-Mart, averages 760 index points—which is 18 points lower than among stores owned by full-service wireless carriers.


Overall Purchase Experience Index Rankings
Full-Service Customers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Carrier Index score Power Circle Ratings
For Consumers
Sprint Nextel 775 5
Full-Service Average 764 3
Verizon Wireless 763 3
AT&T 761 3
T-Mobile 752 2
Overall Purchase Experience Index Rankings
Non-Contract Customers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Carrier Index score Power Circle Ratings
For Consumers
TracFone 763 5
Boost Mobile 758 4
MetroPCS 758 4
Virgin Mobile 754 3
Cricket 753 3
Non-Contract Average 753 3
Straight Talk 728 2
Net10 727 2

Business use of hosted & cloud services grows, price a major factor

Friday, May 18th, 2012

JD PowerAmong business data customers, 18 percent are leveraging remote offerings, such as hosted and cloud-based services, up from 12 percent in 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Business Data Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

The report says price is a major factor in the data service provider selected, as it is in just about everything.

Nearly forty percent (38%) of business customers that utilize cloud-based or hosted services cite “lower price” as the main reason for choosing their data service provider. Conversely, only 20 percent of business that do not use cloud-based or hosted services cited price as their main reason for selecting their data provider.

The study also finds that cloud-based services are more popular among larger companies. Twenty percent of large enterprise businesses and 14 percent of small/medium sized businesses use a cloud service, while only 5 percent of very small businesses leverage cloud services.

Cable Providers Surpass Telecommunication Providers in Satisfaction
Across all business segments as a group, cable providers rank higher in overall satisfaction than traditional telecommunications–or telco–providers. Cable providers hold significantly higher satisfaction scores in fairness of contract terms and ease of understanding pricing options.

“For many years, telco providers have ranked higher in customer satisfaction than cable providers, primarily due to performance and reliability,” said Perazzini.

“Cable providers now rank higher in performance and reliability, due to their advantage in the area of data transfer speeds. Additionally, they have closed the gap with their telco counterparts regarding the stability of their data connections.”

The Value of Customer Service and a Single Point of Contact
Business customers frequently cite customer service as a main reason for choosing their provider, as 26 percent of large enterprises and 17 percent of small/medium businesses chose their data provider because of its reputation for providing good customer service. Additionally, the study finds that providing a single point of contact (SPOC) increases customer service satisfaction. Across all segments, overall satisfaction is 68 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) higher among businesses with a SPOC than among those without.

Additionally, the study finds that providing business customers with a SPOC may reduce customer churn and build loyalty. Across all segments, only 16 percent of businesses with a SPOC indicate they are likely to switch providers in the next 12 months, compared with 20 percent of those without a SPOC.

Business Data Satisfaction Rankings
The study measures customer satisfaction with providers of telecommunications data services, such as cable modem, DSL, T1, T3/DS3, Ethernet and frame relay. Providers are ranked in three segments: very small businesses (companies with one to 19 employees); small/medium businesses (companies with 20 to 499 employees); and large enterprises (companies with 500 or more employees).

Six factors are used to measure satisfaction across all three segments: performance and reliability; cost of service; sales representatives and account executives; billing; offerings and promotions; and customer service.

Optimum Business ranks highest in the very small business segment with an index score of 670. Optimum Business performs particularly well in cost of service and offerings and promotions. Cox (659) and Verizon (635) follow in the segment rankings.

Cox ranks highest in SMB segment

Cox ranks highest in the small and medium business segment with a score of 699, and performs particularly well in four of the six factors driving satisfaction: performance and reliability; cost of service; sales representatives and account executives and billing.

Optimum Business (679) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) (668) follow in the segment rankings.

In the large enterprise segment, AT&T ranks highest in overall satisfaction with a score of 686, and performs particularly well in four of six factors: performance and reliability; sales representatives and account executives; cost of service; and offerings and promotions.

The 2012 Business Data Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 5,143 business customers of telecommunication data services at very small, small/medium and large enterprise businesses in the United States and includes evaluations of their data service providers. The study was fielded in October 2011 and February 2012.

Overall Business Data Index Rankings J.D. Power Circle Ratings
Very Small Business Segment For Consumers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Optimum Business 670 5
Cox 659 4
Verizon 635 4
Charter 623 4
VSB Average 613 3
AT&T 606 3
TWC 604 3
Comcast 603 3
CenturyLink 602 3
Frontier 571 2
Overall Business Data Index Rankings J.D. Power Circle Ratings
Small/Medium Business Segment For Consumers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Cox 699 5
Optimum Business 679 4
TWC 668 4
Comcast 652 4
Verizon 648 4
CenturyLink 642 3
SMB Average 639 3
Charter 638 3
AT&T 611 2
Overall Business Data Index Rankings J.D. Power Circle Ratings
Large Enterprise Segment For Consumers
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
AT&T 686 5
LE Average 679 3
Comcast 677 3
TWC 676 3
Verizon 672 3
CenturyLink 639 2


Power Circle Ratings Legend:
5 – Among the best
4 – Better than most
3 – About average
2 – The rest

Source: PR Newswire (

Vehicle owners willing to spend on auto infotainment features

Friday, April 27th, 2012

JD PowerVehicle owners have come to expect additional safety features and are now turning their attention more to infotainment technologies in their vehicle, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study(SM).

The study measures vehicle owner interest and purchase intent for emerging automotive technologies, both before and after market price is revealed.

The top-five considered technologies—based on vehicle owners who indicate that the “definitely” or “probably” would purchase in their next vehicle—both pre-price and at market price are:

Pre-Price Feature Interest At Market Price Feature Interest
Light emitting diode (LED) headlights         70% HD radio (at $100)                                                        52%
Natural language voice-activation              69% Enhanced collision mitigation system (at $750)           46%
Next-generation head-up display               69% Wireless connectivity system (at $300)                      45%
Wireless connectivity system                     68% Surround-view rear-vision camera (at $550)              44%
Remote vehicle diagnostics                        65% Personal assistance safety services (at $15/month)  41%

Not unexpectedly, purchase interest declines across all features when a price is introduced.

“While vehicle owners remain very interested in technologies that make their vehicle safer, they are turning their attention more and more toward features and technologies that allow them to be productive, connected and entertained while in their vehicles,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk, executive director of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates.

“Given the variety of interests from consumers, automakers will be challenged to pursue technologies that fit their consumer’s interests in order to attract them to their products.”

Autonomous Driving—Polarizing Views on Value

One of the newest, and the most expensive, technologies included in this study is autonomous driving mode—a feature that allows the vehicle to take control of acceleration, braking and steering, without any human interaction.

While this technology is still being developed and tested, 20 percent of all vehicle owners say they “definitely would” or “probably would” purchase it in their next vehicle after learning the estimated market price of $3,000.  Prior to learning the price, interest for this technology was at 37 percent.

Research conducted[1]  by J.D. Power’s Consumer Insight and Strategy Group to track social media activity regarding autonomous driving finds that online sentiment is generally positive.

While some vehicle owners perceive the benefit of autonomous driving as taking the control away from careless, distracted drivers, others see it as an opportunity to be free and to enjoy the time while traveling.

However, auto enthusiasts see autonomous driving as the loss of status and would not want to give up the pleasure of driving.

Other social media research findings include:

  • Many drivers believe that autonomous driving is an emerging trend, but is still far off in daily use primarily due to legal barriers and real-life implementation hurdles.
  • Drivers would want the option for autonomy during times of “boring” driving, such as commuting to and from work, highway driving, going to the store or finding a parking space, but want to take control for pleasure driving or manual maneuvering.
  • Given consumer expectation that an autonomous vehicle will cost more upfront and also to maintain than a traditional vehicle, some consumers envision the potential for vehicle-sharing programs with neighbors or within families as a means to offset these costs.




Smartphone battery life a significant drain on user satisfaction

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

JD PowerAs smartphone users place increasingly complex demands on the functionality of their devices, satisfaction with battery performance is becoming a critical factor in overall satisfaction as well as brand loyalty, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study.

The study also says 70 percent of smartphone users have signed in to social networks, and they are continuing to integrate the devices into both their personal and business lives.

Satisfaction with smartphones is greatly impacted by battery performance, particularly the length of battery life before recharging is required. In addition, the study finds that satisfaction with battery performance is by far the least satisfying aspect of smartphones, and satisfaction in this area is one of only a few attributes that have declined significantly, compared with Volume 2 of the 2011 study (6.7 in 2012, compared with 6.9 in September 2011).

Satisfaction levels with battery performance differ widely between owners of 3G- and 4G-enabled smartphones. Among owners of 4G-enabled smartphones, battery performance ratings average 6.1 on a 10-point scale — considerably lower than satisfaction among owners of 3G smartphones (6.7).

Part of this difference stems from the fact that new 4G smartphones use substantial battery life searching for next-generation network signals, which tend to be scarcer than 3G signals. In addition, owners of 4G-enabled smartphones use their device more extensively — they talk, text, email, and surf the Web more often than do customers with 3G smartphones or traditional handsets — which puts a significantly higher demand on the battery.

“Both carriers and manufacturers recognize the fact that battery life needs to be improved,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.

“The study uncovers the need for a greater sense of urgency — short battery life can result in perceived phone problems, higher rates of merchandise returns and customer defections.”

According to Parsons, smartphone owners who are highly satisfied with their device’s battery life are more likely to repurchase the same brand of smartphone, compared with owners who are less satisfied.

Approximately 25 percent of 4G-enabled smartphone owners are highly satisfied with their battery (ratings of 10 on a 10-point scale) and say they “definitely will” repurchase a device from the same manufacturer. In comparison, among owners who are less satisfied with their battery (ratings of 7-9 on a 10-point scale), only 13 percent say the same.

The two studies measure customer satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets and smartphones among owners who have used their current mobile device for less than one year. Satisfaction is measured in several key factors.

Key factors of overall satisfaction

In order of importance, the key factors of overall satisfaction with traditional wireless handsets are: performance (31%); ease of operation (24%); physical design (24%); and features (20%). For smartphones, the key factors are: performance (35%); ease of operation (24%); features (21%); and physical design (20%).

For a seventh consecutive time, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 839 on a 1,000-point scale and performs well in all factors, particularly in ease of operation and features. HTC (798) follows Apple in the smartphone rankings.

LG and Sanyo rank highest in overall customer satisfaction with traditional handsets, in a tie (716 each). LG performs well in all four factors, while Sanyo performs particularly well in ease of operation. Sony Ericsson (712) and Samsung (703) follow in the traditional handset rankings.

The studies also find the following key wireless handset usage patterns:

  • The price of a traditional wireless mobile phone continues to decline and averaged $66 between July and December 2011, compared with an average of $81 during the same time period in 2010. The decline is primarily due to discounts provided by handset providers and wireless service carriers to incentivize sales. Currently, 44 percent of owners report having received a free mobile phone when subscribing to a wireless service.
  • Mobile applications continue to enhance the smartphone user experience.  Seventy percent of smartphone owners say they have accessed social networking sites using their device. Nearly three in four (72%) say they have the ability to download and/or view video and movies, while 59 percent indicate having voice recognition and/or command dialing applications. This indicates that smartphone owners are continuing to integrate their device usage into both their business and personal lives.
  • Two in 10 current smartphone owners report experiencing a software or device malfunction (21%). These problems have an impact on overall satisfaction, as there is a satisfaction gap of 77 points between customers who experience software malfunctions and those who do not.  Satisfaction among customers who indicate their device’s software crashes at least once a week averages only 691.

Most useful automotive web sites integrate social media

Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Modified Acura

A modified Acura

Many of the most useful automotive websites share a common thread—they consistently integrate access to social media platforms throughout their pages, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study(SM) (MWES)—Wave 1 released today.

The semiannual study, now in its 13th year, measures the usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites during the new-vehicle shopping process by examining four key measures: speed, appearance, navigation and information/content.

Wide variation in use of social media

All automotive brand websites provide users with the ability to access various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to connect with the brand’s social media presence or share information about a brand or model under consideration.

However, there is wide variation among websites in the pervasiveness of social media access—for example, whether it’s available from only the site’s home page, or from a variety of pages.

Most useful use social media throughout site

The study finds websites that are the most useful tend to provide users with social media access from a variety of pages, including the home page, model pages, configurator tool and photo gallery. Brands that do not perform well in usefulness tend to have limited social media availability throughout their sites, such as access only from the home page and model pages.

“The widespread usage of social media has created an expectation of constant availability,” said Arianne Walker, senior director of media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power and Associates.

“By integrating links to social media platforms throughout several site features, automotive brand websites enhance convenience for users and also increase the possibility that website users will promote the brand within their social networks.”

Overall satisfaction with the usefulness of automotive brand websites has decreased significantly to an average of 772 on a 1,000-point scale in Wave 1 of the 2012 study from 784 in Wave 2 of the 2011 study, which was released in August 2011. Much of this decline is due to decreased satisfaction with navigation and information/content. These declines may be attributable to the challenges that automotive brand websites are facing in designing sites that are usable on both tablets and desktop computers.

Sites need to accomodate tablets

While only 20 percent of new-vehicle shoppers say they own a tablet, among those who do, 47 percent say they have used their tablet to access automotive information. Tablet ownership is expected to increase during the next several years, which makes it particularly important for brand websites to be able to accommodate both tablets and desktop computers without sacrificing usability on either type of device.

“As automotive brand websites attempt to accommodate the dimensions, resolution and layout best suited for tablet use, some have changed their design in ways that inhibit usage on desktop computers,” said Walker. “For example, pages that require scrolling to view all of the content on a particular page may be preferred by tablet users, but they are quite frustrating for desktop computer users, who are used to clicking to access content directly, rather than finding it on the page by scrolling.”

In addition to differing levels of tolerance for scrolling, following are two key differences in navigation conventions between tablets and desktop computers:

  • For tablet devices, big button links are preferable to text links, while text links work well for website navigation on desktop computers.
  • Users of tablet devices often utilize finger swiping to access website content, while desktop computer users click and drag their mouse cursors. Effective websites should allow for navigation both ways.

Acura’s website ranks highest with a score of 808 on a 1,000-point scale, and performs particularly well in the navigation and speed measures. Rounding out the five highest-performing automotive websites are Honda (806), Hyundai (803) and Infiniti and Lincoln, in a tie (802 each).

The 2012 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study—Wave 1 is based on evaluations from more than 9,400 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded inNovember 2011.

Manufacturer Website Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Acura 808
Honda 806
Hyundai 803
Infiniti 802
Lincoln 802
Kia 796
Jeep 792
Lexus 790
Porsche 787
Toyota 787
MINI 785
Buick 784
Mazda 784
Cadillac 783
Subaru 776
Volkswagen 775
Nissan 774
Suzuki 774
Audi 773
Industry Average 772
Mitsubishi 771
BMW 770
Mercedes-Benz 768
Ford 763
Land Rover 763
GMC 762
Jaguar 760
Volvo 759
smart 756
Chrysler 755
Dodge 752
Ram 752
Chevrolet 750
Fiat 729
SAAB 721
Scion 691