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 a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.