Wireless Carriers Fail (Again) On Customer Experience

In Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CxPi), we ranked 114 companies across 12 industries. I recently published a snapshot of the wireless industry results. The carriers, as a group, ended up tied for 8th (with PC manufacturers) out of the 12 industries. Here are some highlights of the results:

  • Wireless carriers got worse. In last year’s CxPi, wirless carriers ended up with a not so good 66% rating. But in this year’s CxPi, the wireless carriers dropped to 64% (a rating of “poor”).
  • Alltel takes the top spot. With an “okay” rating of 72%, Alltel topped the list of wireless carriers in the 2008 CxPi. Alltel also came out on top of all three categories of the CxPi, with the largest lead in enjoyability. Verizon Wireless, TracFone, and AT&T all scored well in usefulness.
  • Sprint holds on to the bottom spot. Sprint’s score of 45% put the firm at the bottom of the list of carriers, the same spot it held last year. The low score left the carrier well below its closest competitor and 108th out of all 114 companies in the 2008 CxPi. Making matters worse, Sprint also had the largest drop from last year.
  • AT&T makes the only gains. With a small 1% increase between 2007 and 2008, AT&T was the only carrier that improved its CxPi score. Alltel remained at the same level as last year, but all of the other carriers’ scores declined.

The bottom line: Wireless carriers are heading in the wrong direction.

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I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin