U.S. mobile providers aren't known for their fantastic customer service, but some are certainly better than others. J.D. Power's "2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full-Service Performance Study" was released this week, ranking each of the country's mobile carriers on their customer's satisfaction with each company's service.
The study found that AT&T now ranks highest in customer service satisfaction among all U.S. mobile providers, with customers ranking the company well for its walk-in and online chat services. AT&T scored a 795 on J.D. Power's "Power Circle Ratings" 1,000-point scale, with Verizon coming in second at 790. Sprint was third on the list with a score of 771, and T-Mobile brought up the rear with a low score of 760.
Among "non-contract" mobile providers, MetroPCS ranked highest with a 770. It was followed by Cricket, which scored a 750, and Virgin Mobile, which scored a 733. Boost Mobile came in slightly below the average for non-contract providers, with a score of 729.
Overall, the study found that satisfaction with mobile providers' customer service rose this year to its highest level since 2009. J.D. Power attributes this rise to the more frequent use and better performance of online customer service, particularly online chat.
"The higher levels of satisfaction with online chat are partially due to the efficiency and immediacy of the experience, particularly with service issues or questions that are easier to resolve in this environment, such as billing or service/device questions pertaining to upgrades," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of the telecom services practice division at J.D. Power. "However, as carriers release new products and services to meet consumer demand, such automated systems as online chat must continue to evolve to address harder-to-answer questions related to technology support, as customers gain confidence in using alternative contact channels for convenience-related reasons."