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  1. #1
    Justin Green
    Guest
    Service Is Key To Holding Cell Phone Customers, Survey Shows
    August 28, 2003 (6:04 p.m. EST)
    By Antone Gonsalves, TechWeb News

    Treat your customers right, or you will lose them. That's the findings of a
    survey of mobile phone users released Thursday by J.D. Power and Associates.
    In a study of 16,800 cell phone customers, the research firm found that they
    were nearly four times more likely to switch wireless service providers if
    their carriers rated below average in customer care. Among the seven largest
    wireless carriers, Nextel Communications and Verizon Wireless treated their
    customers the best, according to the survey, while ALLTEL and Sprint PCS
    were the only two listed below the industry average for service. Sprint PCS
    had the worst rating. The study found that 26 percent of the customers were
    "definitely" or "probably" likely to switch carriers in the next year if
    they rated their most recent service experience as below average. Only 7
    percent of customers who rated their service experience as above average
    were likely to switch carriers. J.D. Power found that getting a service
    representative to answer a customer's phone call quickly, and minimizing the
    number of contacts needed to fix a problem were key factors in keeping
    customers happy. About a third of the people who said they were on hold for
    20 minutes or longer said they would "definitely" or "probably" dump their
    carrier. That percentage, however, dropped to 12 percent for those customers
    who waited less than two minutes. Retaining customers is becoming critical
    for carriers as the price of acquiring a new customer rises. A wireless
    provider today spends between $300 and $425 to lure each new customer, J.D.
    Power said. "Customer care itself -- having a good experience -- is critical
    to the carrier and critical to the customer becoming happier with the
    carrier than they were before they had a problem," J.D. Power analyst Kirk
    Parsons said. "Clearly, the data shows that when a customer calls customer
    service and has a great experience, it elevates their overall satisfaction
    even higher." Wireless carriers are unique because service representative
    often can't solve the problems reported by customers. For example, J.D.
    Power found that 54 percent of calls were to complain about poor reception
    on the network. "(Carriers) have to manage expectations," Parsons said.
    Service reps have to assure the customer that the carrier is improving the
    network, and occasionally giveaway minutes to placate an angry caller.
    "There's ways around (network quality issues) to please even the most
    hardened customer," Parsons said. J.D. Power rated carriers' treatment of
    customers based on performance in four key areas. Listed in order of
    importance, the areas were service representative interaction, according to
    44 percent of respondents; resolution contact frequency, 31 percent;
    automated response system processing and navigation, 13 percent; and
    hold-time duration, 12 percent. Nextel and Verizon tied for the top spot in
    customer care performance. Nextel performed particularly well with its
    automated response system, and Verizon had the shortest hold times and did
    an especially good job in having service representatives who understood
    customer, J.D. Power said. "The biggest differences between the high-rated
    and low-rated carriers in terms of customer care is being able to get the
    calls through (to a representative) and handling them in a timely fashion,"
    Parsons said. Sprint, the lowest rated carrier, said the study data was
    gathered before the company had made leadership changes within its customer
    care division to improve service. "We're not happy with the ranking, but we
    have seen improvements and Sprint customers have seen a difference," Sprint
    spokesman Dan Wilinski said. Other findings in the study included: -- More
    than half of mobile phone users had contacted customer service within the
    last year. -- Among those who contact their carrier, 76 percent do so by
    phone; 21 percent through the vendor's retail store; and 3 percent by email
    or the Internet. -- The average hold time before customers speak to a
    representative is 5:36 minutes.





    Look, it's no skin off my nose if Sprint wants to lose 26% of their
    customers next year. I mean, you might have a job and you might not, if
    Sprint drops another 78,000 this quarter. The point is, Sprint seems to
    attract people with your attitude. The attitude that it doesn't matter how
    lousy your service is, everyone else's is equally poor. Here's a recap in
    case you're too lazy to read the article:



    1 - 54% of calls are network/reception problems, which means that the
    problem I was having is probably fairly typical.

    2 - People on hold longer than 20 minutes are likely to switch carriers. I
    think Sprint has solved the "on hold" problem - I won't debate about *how*
    it was solved, because you repeatedly refuse to do so.

    3 - The *biggest differences* between the top rated and low rated carriers
    is being able to get calls through to a representative (again, Sprint has
    solved this) - a representative who *understands* the problems and handles
    them in a timely fashion. - Sprint corrected the wait time, but still hasn't
    corrected the lack of knowledge of the reps OR their ability to resolve
    problems.



    In reality, I think a) Sprint has over advertised service availability, b)
    cannot properly train CS reps, and c) focuses more on up-selling during CS
    calls than actually fixing the problem.



    No one cares if you admit the problems or not. We'll see if Sprint PCS has
    another abysmal year.









    See More: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation




  2. #2
    Phillipe
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Justin Green" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > Look, it's no skin off my nose if Sprint wants to lose 26% of their
    > customers next year. I mean, you might have a job and you might not, if
    > Sprint drops another 78,000 this quarter. The point is, Sprint seems to
    > attract people with your attitude. The attitude that it doesn't matter how
    > lousy your service is, everyone else's is equally poor. Here's a recap in
    > case you're too lazy to read the article:
    >
    >
    >
    > 1 - 54% of calls are network/reception problems, which means that the
    > problem I was having is probably fairly typical.
    >
    > 2 - People on hold longer than 20 minutes are likely to switch carriers. I
    > think Sprint has solved the "on hold" problem - I won't debate about *how*
    > it was solved, because you repeatedly refuse to do so.
    >
    > 3 - The *biggest differences* between the top rated and low rated carriers
    > is being able to get calls through to a representative (again, Sprint has
    > solved this) - a representative who *understands* the problems and handles
    > them in a timely fashion. - Sprint corrected the wait time, but still hasn't
    > corrected the lack of knowledge of the reps OR their ability to resolve
    > problems.



    When a *2 rep doesn't know what PRL means, or doesn't know what ESN
    means, one must say that training is an issue.

    >
    >
    >
    > In reality, I think a) Sprint has over advertised service availability, b)
    > cannot properly train CS reps, and c) focuses more on up-selling during CS
    > calls than actually fixing the problem.
    >
    >
    >
    > No one cares if you admit the problems or not. We'll see if Sprint PCS has
    > another abysmal year.


    Careful, someone will accuse Justin of being Phillipe because he uses
    "abysmal" to describe Sprint Customer Service, although in my opinion
    the term often fits, and so I use it also.

    I think you understate the Churn that SprintPCS has. 16,000,000
    customers, and they have reported losing 3% PER MONTH: that equals
    480,000 per month, more than an order of magnitude greater than the
    number you mentioned.

    And its all potentially very simple to fix: Make CSRs more like
    Executive Services Assistants in the way they handle calls.



  3. #3
    tom ronson
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation


    "Justin Green" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Service Is Key To Holding Cell Phone Customers, Survey Shows


    >Sprint, the lowest rated carrier, said the study data was
    > gathered before the company had made leadership changes within its

    customer
    > care division to improve service. "We're not happy with the ranking, but

    we
    > have seen improvements and Sprint customers have seen a difference,"

    Sprint
    > spokesman Dan Wilinski said.


    These goofballs think that service is issuing a press release that says
    they're doing better service ---- and the answer is the same every year
    "we'll do better next year". Lauer, with his $2.8 million salary isn't worth
    a ****, but yet is better than his marketing predecessor ---- but what
    difference that makes to the customer base at large looks to be wholly
    irrelevant at most levels.

    You can see the mindset at SPCS "service" is totally out of line ---
    Sprintech learns a new word last week (tower alignment) and we're supposed
    to be in awe of this new knowledge --- f*cking Detroit doesn't espouse the
    beauty of anti-lock brakes each time they work successfully. And why should
    it matter a whit what it takes to provide a usable signal --- we pay for a
    usable signal, just provide it without telling how cool you are doing it for
    f*cks sake. WTF cares how hard it is --- and with the money running through
    that ****hole it's not like the talent couldn't be bought to do it right.

    To those who work for sprint and post here ---- maybe it'd be better to keep
    one's mouth shut and let folks think your stupid than opening it and prove
    that you are.

    To sum up, this JD Powers report should shock no one (that's two words
    sprinttech) ---- and I know from my experience that finding an acorn in the
    rotten wood of SPCS "service" is the exception --- not the rule.

    And they wonder why the WSJ rates them a step above junk ---- and the rater
    was probably being generous.

    But we'll get better next year ---- what a f*cking joke.





  4. #4
    xj911
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation


    I used to work at Sprint as a Sales Rep, and I worked closely with
    CSR's. The thing that hurts Sprint the most is they are so bottom line
    oriented they forget customer service. They trained the Sales Reps the
    same way they train CSR's. What does this mean? It means that
    Customer care reps are pushed to upsell and are given incentive to do
    so, rather than offer quality customer service. If Sprint trained
    CSR's to help people with their problems rather than push sales, their
    bad CS reputation would improve.

    --
    Posted at SprintUsers.com - Your place for everything Sprint PCS
    Free wireless access @ www.SprintUsers.com/wap




  5. #5
    Lawrence Glasser
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation

    xj911 wrote:
    >
    > I used to work at Sprint as a Sales Rep, and I worked closely with
    > CSR's. The thing that hurts Sprint the most is they are so bottom line
    > oriented they forget customer service. They trained the Sales Reps the
    > same way they train CSR's. What does this mean? It means that
    > Customer care reps are pushed to upsell and are given incentive to do
    > so, rather than offer quality customer service. If Sprint trained
    > CSR's to help people with their problems rather than push sales, their
    > bad CS reputation would improve.


    Maybe we're talking apples and oranges, but I'm a bit confused...

    When I call Customer Service / Tech Support, I *never* get even
    the slightest suggestion for a sale, changing my plan, etc.

    Do I assume, correctly, that we're talking *strictly* in-store
    CS?

    Larry



  6. #6
    Justin Green
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation


    "Lawrence Glasser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > xj911 wrote:
    > >
    > > I used to work at Sprint as a Sales Rep, and I worked closely with
    > > CSR's. The thing that hurts Sprint the most is they are so bottom line
    > > oriented they forget customer service. They trained the Sales Reps the
    > > same way they train CSR's. What does this mean? It means that
    > > Customer care reps are pushed to upsell and are given incentive to do
    > > so, rather than offer quality customer service. If Sprint trained
    > > CSR's to help people with their problems rather than push sales, their
    > > bad CS reputation would improve.

    >
    > Maybe we're talking apples and oranges, but I'm a bit confused...
    >
    > When I call Customer Service / Tech Support, I *never* get even
    > the slightest suggestion for a sale, changing my plan, etc.
    >
    > Do I assume, correctly, that we're talking *strictly* in-store
    > CS?
    >
    > Larry


    Larry, obviously I can't speak for anyone but my friend's experience and my
    own. On several occassions, we were both offered X number of minutes for $5
    or $10 more a month as a consolation for poor reception. I don't know how
    often this happens with others, but it was offered to me with enough
    frequency that I have to assume that it is a common sales pitch.

    The in store people never wanted to even talk to the *2 people, refusing to
    do so twice when their information differed from *2's. All the store wanted
    to do was sell me another phone and sign me up for a 2 year contract.





  7. #7
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation

    tom ronson <[email protected]> wrote:
    > "we'll do better next year". Lauer, with his $2.8 million salary isn't
    > worth a ****


    Matter of opinion. I like not having to wait a day and a half on hold
    anymore. I like not being charged $3 per call -- yes, when I started out
    with Sprint I was an ASL customer, although maybe I'm not anymore since
    I've been told I am approved to activate another phone on my account and
    ASL customers can only do one -- and I like talking to people who can and
    do help me.

    I won't claim that they're perfect, just that, from my _personal_
    experiences, I've seen a huge improvement in customer service, and that was
    one of Lauer's big goals.


    --
    JustThe.net Internet & Multimedia Services
    22674 Motnocab Road * Apple Valley, CA 92307-1950
    Steve Sobol, Proprietor
    888.480.4NET (4638) * 248.724.4NET * [email protected]



  8. #8
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation

    Justin Green <[email protected]> wrote:

    > The in store people never wanted to even talk to the *2 people, refusing to
    > do so twice when their information differed from *2's. All the store wanted
    > to do was sell me another phone and sign me up for a 2 year contract.


    I never had problems with the Sprint store in Mentor, Ohio.

    Obviously there is a huge variance in quality from store to store. I've
    heard plenty of reports of in-store employees who don't seem to give a
    ****.

    Maybe that's the next thing Sprint needs to work on. As previously stated,
    I personally have seen a big improvement in *2 CS.

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & Multimedia Services
    22674 Motnocab Road * Apple Valley, CA 92307-1950
    Steve Sobol, Proprietor
    888.480.4NET (4638) * 248.724.4NET * [email protected]



  9. #9
    goodeye18
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation


    Justin do you seriously have no life? Its ridiculous you feel like you
    have to prove someone wrong. Oh no. I gotta write up this huge post to
    prove someone wrong....... If ya don't like sprint ya can always leave
    them. Seriuosly. Its stupid People here that say SPRINT SUCKS SUCKS
    SUCKS!!! If ya all out really feel that way then leave Sprint. They
    aint gonna miss ya.

    --
    Posted at SprintUsers.com - Your place for everything Sprint PCS
    Free wireless access @ www.SprintUsers.com/wap




  10. #10
    lb505
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation


    Steven J Sobol wrote:
    >
    > I never had problems with the Sprint store in Mentor, Ohio.
    >
    >


    The Mentor store is terrible. Customer service is definitely not their
    top priority. example: I had to renew a 2 year contract to replace a
    defective phone under warranty?!?!?! Educating myself on these forums
    has only made dealing with them all the more frustrating. I like the
    phones, I like Sprint but the lack of good customer service makes me
    crazy.

    --
    Posted at SprintUsers.com - Your place for everything Sprint PCS
    Free wireless access @ www.SprintUsers.com/wap




  11. #11
    Phillipe
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation

    In article <[email protected]>,
    goodeye18 <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Justin do you seriously have no life? Its ridiculous you feel like you
    > have to prove someone wrong.


    Maybe you haven't been following his slow torture by SprintPCS, and
    SprintPCS employees efforts to belittle him, and prove him wrong.

    He's been a model of mature behavior as opposed to some Sprint
    Employees who try to SPIN his torture.



  12. #12
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation


    "Phillipe" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > goodeye18 <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Justin do you seriously have no life? Its ridiculous you feel like you
    > > have to prove someone wrong.

    >
    > Maybe you haven't been following his slow torture by SprintPCS, and
    > SprintPCS employees efforts to belittle him, and prove him wrong.
    >
    > He's been a model of mature behavior as opposed to some Sprint
    > Employees who try to SPIN his torture.


    More lies from Philly.

    As to Justin, he's lost all credibility with yours truly, with far to many
    repeated posts ... But of course Philly, you would know as you are the king
    of repeated posts here ...

    Bob





  13. #13
    Phillipe
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation

    In article <[email protected]>,
    lb505 <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > Steven J Sobol wrote:
    > >
    > > I never had problems with the Sprint store in Mentor, Ohio.
    > >
    > >

    >
    > The Mentor store is terrible. Customer service is definitely not their
    > top priority. example: I had to renew a 2 year contract to replace a
    > defective phone under warranty?!?!?! Educating myself on these forums
    > has only made dealing with them all the more frustrating. I like the
    > phones, I like Sprint but the lack of good customer service makes me
    > crazy.


    According to Master "O" you must be Phillipe, cause most everyone
    posting here like Sprints Customer Servioce.

    I have Sobol on my KILL list after he decided to insult me rather than
    discuss issues. He has zero credibility. His web site still says:

    Steve Sobol, an M-O-L resident. "It's less than a half-hour from
    downtown Cleveland, and less than ten minutes away from the heart of
    Mentor, Lake County's biggest city. Everything's close. And the people
    here are absolutely terrific... friendly, and ready to lend a hand if
    needed. I moved here in November of 2001 and almost instantly felt like
    I had been here forever. I belong here."


    In spite of his belonging in Mentor, Ohio, he's moved to California,
    where he still says Sprint also can do no wrong. He must be a Sprint
    dealer, but has refused to say.



  14. #14
    xj911
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation


    goodeye18 wrote:
    > *Justin do you seriously have no life? Its ridiculous you feel like
    > you have to prove someone wrong. Oh no. I gotta write up this huge
    > post to prove someone wrong....... If ya don't like sprint ya can
    > always leave them. Seriuosly. Its stupid People here that say SPRINT
    > SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS!!! If ya all out really feel that way then leave
    > Sprint. They aint gonna miss ya. *


    I will when my contract is up, I assume they will miss every customer
    they lose seeing they are millions in debt. :/

    --
    Posted at SprintUsers.com - Your place for everything Sprint PCS
    Free wireless access @ www.SprintUsers.com/wap




  15. #15
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: For O/Siris - JD Powers explanation

    lb505 <[email protected]> wrote:

    > The Mentor store is terrible.


    I've never had problems there. I've talked to Aldo, the manager, and
    a number of the sales reps. They're all polite, they seem to know what
    they're talking about, and in general they do a decent job.

    Sometimes if you're in line for sales you'll wait a while, but the
    Verizon store down the street has its slow times too. The VZW store
    reps always suggested coming in between 3 and 5 pm as that is their
    slow time. It's probably the same at the Sprint store.

    >Customer service is definitely not their
    > top priority. example: I had to renew a 2 year contract to replace a
    > defective phone under warranty?!?!?!


    Since when? How long had you had the phone?

    I can't speak to this issue directly as I've never replaced a phone
    under warranty at SPCS (I have at Verizon, but not SPCS), but I would
    definitely be interested in details.

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & Multimedia Services
    22674 Motnocab Road * Apple Valley, CA 92307-1950
    Steve Sobol, Proprietor
    888.480.4NET (4638) * 248.724.4NET * [email protected]



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