JD Power ties service windows to sub satisfaction

March 22, 2018
According to the inaugural J.D. Power U.S. Telecom In-Home Service Technician Study, longer service windows and late or early arrival times ...

According to the inaugural J.D. Power U.S. Telecom In-Home Service Technician Study, longer service windows and late or early arrival times have a negative effect on customer satisfaction.

The study evaluates customer perceptions of on-site service technician visits for installation and post-install service of residential wireline products, including high-speed data, phone and TV services. The study measures overall satisfaction with on-site service technician visits based on six single-attribute factors: quality of work; timeliness of completing work; knowledge of technician; courtesy of technician; professionalism of technician; and scheduling an appointment.

"The more flexible telecom companies can be with offering service windows that work with their customers' schedules and the more precise they are at hitting those target times, the higher levels of customer satisfaction they can realize," said Peter Cunningham, technology, media, and telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power. "Though this may seem like common sense, there are huge performance gaps among the different providers. Those that are getting it right have developed strong skill sets in both managing customer expectations and delivering on them."

Among the findings:

  • Shorter service windows are associated with higher satisfaction: Satisfaction is 49 points higher among customers with service windows of one hour or less than among those with a two-hour window. That gap jumps to 104 points when customers are given a four-hour window.
  • Showing up on the wrong day: Overall satisfaction among customers whose technician arrived on time is 871. That score drops to 819 when technicians arrived early and to 683 when they arrived late. Despite the huge importance customers place on timeliness, 12% of technicians arrived outside of their service window (5% were early and 7% were late). Among the 7% of technicians who arrived late, 20% were at least two days late.
  • Fixing it right the first time: 26% of customers indicate that not all of their issues were fixed on the first technician visit. Overall satisfaction scores are 112 points higher when the issues are fixed on the first visit. Customers whose issues are not fixed correctly the first time are more than twice as likely to indicate they "definitely will" or "probably will" switch providers than those whose issues are fixed during the first technician visit.
  • The value of a heads-up: Satisfaction among customers who were contacted prior to the arrival of the technician arrival is 138 points higher than among those who were not contacted.
  • Online scheduling drives higher customer satisfaction: When it comes to the mechanism used to schedule a service appointment, satisfaction is much higher among customers who used a digital channel - such as website unassisted (834) - to schedule an appointment than among those who used a phone (761).
  • DISH Network ranks highest in telecommunications in-home service technician satisfaction with a score of 885. Charter Spectrum ranks second (860), AT&T/DirecTV (859) ranks third, and Verizon (856) ranks fourth. The industry average is 853.

The study was fielded in December 2017-January 2018, collecting 3,744 responses. To be eligible to participate, respondents needed to have an in-home telecom service technician visit in the past six months.