Customer satisfaction with wireless purchase experience in Canada declined across four of six factors in 2019, especially in the factor of cost of service, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Canada Wireless Purchase Experience Study released today. Overall satisfaction is 793 (on a 1,000-point scale), compared with 799 in 2018. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

Through the in-store experience, the study finds a strong connection between customers' level of trust in the brand and their understanding of the plan's fit, features and cost. Customers who receive an explanation from a store representative about the components of their bill have higher satisfaction with the cost of service than those who did not receive an explanation (714 vs. 601). Such an explanation also leads to a greater perception of carrier trust (43%) and a higher percentage of brand loyalty (40%) than those who do not receive an explanation (28% and 25%, respectively).

"Brick-and-mortar stores remain a critical sales channel for carriers, providing a unique opportunity to leverage customer interaction that builds trust and loyalty," said Adrian Chung, Director of the Technology, Media & Telecom Practice at J.D. Power in Canada. "Sales reps need to be proactive, ensuring the customer is matched with the right plan - while explaining the features and billing structure - in order to clearly set expectations and leave a positive impression of both the brand and store."

As advertising is the primary way carriers communicate their brand promise to customers and prospects, the study also examines the effect advertising has on customer perception of the brand and the company. The study finds that a carrier's overall trustworthiness rate is significantly higher (6.25 on a 7-point scale) among customers who think their wireless provider's advertising is very truthful. When consumers perceive their carrier's advertising as less truthful or untruthful, the wireless provider is perceived as deceptive (the score goes as low as 2.45 points) and customers are more likely to act as detractors.

Following are some key findings of the 2019 study:

  • Carriers' stores are preferred
    The most common location for wireless purchase is the carriers' own brick-and-mortar stores, with 56% of customers making their purchase there. Satisfaction is higher among customers who make a purchase at a carrier's store (824) than those who make a purchase at a non-carrier store (816).
  • Understanding leads to trust
    Customers who say the features of their plan and pricing are easy to understand and meet their needs, give carriers a higher trustworthiness mark (6.38 and 6.3, respectively, on a 7-point scale). Customers who say features and pricing were not easy to understand and didn't meet their needs had a low trust level in the brand (3.01 and 3.10, respectively).
  • The Amazon factor
    When it comes to online purchase of wireless equipment, Amazon is the preferred destination for customers. More than one-third (37%) of respondents purchase wireless equipment on Amazon, while 33% make their purchase on the carrier's website.

Koodo Mobile ranks highest in purchase experience satisfaction for the third consecutive year, with a score of 831. Videotron (826) ranks second and SaskTel (812) ranks third.

The 2019 Canada Wireless Purchase Experience Study examines wireless carriers' performance across sales-related activities in stores, over the phone and online. Satisfaction is measured in six factors: store representative; online purchase; phone purchase; facility; offerings and promotions; and cost of service. The study is based on responses from 5,435 wireless customers with a postpaid plan from an eligible carrier and who have had a purchasing experience in the past six months. The study was fielded in February-March 2019.

For more information about the Canada Wireless Customer Experience Study visit https://canada.jdpower.com