AT&T tops Verizon for first time in J.D. Power customer satisfaction report

Summary:MetroPCS did pretty well last quarter -- as far as consumers are concerned -- too.

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J.D. Power and Associates has released volume two of its 2013 national customer satisfaction report, and AT&T is the big winner this round.

AT&T surpassed Verizon for the first time ever among full-service carriers in the wireless customer care satisfaction standings with an overall score of 795 on a 1,000-point scale.

According to researchers, AT&T's success can be mainly attributed to better performance for walk-in and online contact channels.

MetroPCS did pretty well last quarter -- as far as consumers are concerned -- too. The nation's fifth largest wireless provider, which merged with T-Mobile USA earlier this year, achieved an overall score of 770 to win out among all the non-contract carriers.

Other highlights from the report:

  • The overall satisfaction score among full-service customers is 786 -- up by 31 points from six months ago. J.D. Power affirmed that is the highest level of satisfaction reached since the study moved to the 1,000-point scale in 2009.
  • Customer service satisfaction levels are actually up across the board, but online has seen the highest uptick with a 52-point increase.
  • Online chat is the top online channel for customer service with 42 percent of full-service customers, followed by email (23 percent) or other social media forum (16 percent).

One interesting point demonstrating how new forms of social media are changing the dynamic for customer service: The study revealed that nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of full-service customers said they have used YouTube to resolve a problem concerning wireless service.

For reference, J.D. Power's 2013 customer care study for full-service carriers is based on responses from 7,373 wireless customers. The report for non-contract carriers is based upon responses from 3,235 wireless customers.

Both studies were conducted between January and June 2013.

Topics: Mobility, 4G, AT&T, Smartphones, Verizon

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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