February 04, 2009

Customers Reporting Higher Satisfaction with Customer Care, Service & Repair, and Networks

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Almost a year ago to the date, Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse announced that the company’s number one focus is improving the customer experience. Since then, the company has made significant progress in customer service, network enhancements that have resulted in improved call quality, as well as increased customer satisfaction with service and repair.

“Reality sometimes lags perception when it comes to customer experience,” said Bob Johnson, chief service officer at Sprint. “But the gap between the two is getting closer for Sprint. Customers understand what we’re doing. They like what they are seeing now. We have a way to go, but the progress we’ve made is steady and solid.”

In fact, a customer satisfaction study issued today by J.D. Power & Associates (JDPA) showed significant improvement by Sprint. The JDPA 2009 Vol. 1 survey on Wireless Customer Care Performance, which surveys wireless users about their experiences with customer service representatives, retail, online and interactive voice response systems, shows Sprint’s customer service is making improvement in these areas and has quickly closed the gap within the industry by 50 percent versus the previous JDPA study released in August of 2008.

In 2009, the company remains committed to maintaining its steadfast focus on increasing customer satisfaction. Some of the ways Sprint plans to further improve the customer experience are by providing:

  • Fewer reasons for customers to call customer care with the introduction of simplified pricing and more self-service tools
  • Customers with help on how to choose and learn to use the right Sprint services for them and recommend changes as their needs change
  • More consistent and quality support from care agents leading to better first call resolution
  • Increased efficiency in every customer interaction, allowing our customers to quickly get their questions answered and their issues resolved
  • More reward programs for long-time and high-value customers such as the recently launched Sprint Premier program which offers special upgrades and special discounts

“Over the last two years we’ve focused on finding solutions to better resolve customer issues, as well as streamlined and strengthened our customer care operations,” Johnson said. “This year is all about transforming the customer experience to be the reason customers stay with us or sign up for service with us. And, this year the mantra is simple: serve, solve and satisfy.”

Sprint customer experience improvements have yielded results – from improved internal customer satisfaction scores to a series of awards and top rankings from third parties, www.sprint.com/companyinfo/awards. These initiatives, notable improvements and awards include:

  • Ready Now - Sprint launched the successful, innovative Ready Now program to ensure customers are educated, comfortable and confident in the features and functions of their device. In December, satisfaction in terms of being “very and extremely satisfied,” topped an all time high of 93 percent for customers that experienced Ready Now. Visit www.sprint.com/readynow for program details.
  • Simpler Pricing Plans – The wireless “Economic stimulus package” with significant savings for individuals and families compared to similar plans from AT&T and Verizon. For example, Sprint’s Simply Everything plan saves customers $480 per year versus comparable messaging and data plans from AT&T & Verizon. Visit www.sprint.com/everything for additional details.
  • Customer Satisfaction Index –Surveys of customers who have interacted with Sprint representatives show customer satisfaction with customer care and with the overall Sprint retail experience have consistently improved in 2008, achieving all time highs in December.
  • Resolving Issues on the First Call – Surveys of customers who have contacted Sprint’s customer service representatives about an issue have shown continuous improvement for each month in first call resolution (FCR), achieving all time highs in December.
  • Customer Care Response Times – An independent study by Pali Research on wireless customer care response times concluded that Sprint leapt from "worst to first" place in 3Q08 and Sprint again ranked first for 4Q08. For two straight quarters, Sprint answered more than 90 percent of calls from customers in 30 seconds or less.
  • Service and RepairSprint has passed two of its competitors, T-Mobile and AT&T in service and repair customer satisfaction scores – to reach 2nd place according to an independent market research report from Knowledge Systems & Research, Inc. (KS&R). Sprint improved year over year by 11 percentage points, the largest improvement of any carrier. This second place finish is Sprint’s highest finish.
  • Billing Satisfaction – Surveys of Sprint customers show satisfaction with their bills has improved from one year ago. Customers cite ease of reading the bills and more bill accuracy as top reasons for satisfaction.
  • Enhanced Network Performance - Since 2006, Sprint has invested more than $15 billion in capital largely to enhance its networks. Across the country, thousands of cities received the benefit of this major investment. Sprint’s wireless networks are performing at their best-ever levels, and independent third-party reports confirm Sprint’s networks are performing very well relative to the competition.

    • Sprint was awarded “Highest Call Quality Performance Among Wireless Cell Phone Users in the Southwest Region in a Tie” by J.D. Power and Associates. (Source: J.D. Power 2008 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study – Volume 2, Sept. 4, 2008)
    • Sprint operates America’s most dependable 3G network. * Dependability based on independent, third-party drive tests for 3G data connection success, session reliability and signal strength for the top 50 most populous markets, June to November 2008.
    • Gizmodo, a well-respected technology blog with more than 80 million page views a month in traffic, recently announced that consistent testing of Sprint’s 3G network in eight cities selected by the blog showed Sprint unequivocally beating both AT&T and Verizon in download performance speeds. For more details on the Gizmodo study and results, see http://gizmodo.com/5111989/the-definitive-coast+to+coast-3g-data-test.
    • TheStreet.com’s Gary Krakow tested Sprint’s new 3G/4G U300 modem in New York and Baltimore and concluded that Sprint’s 3G EVDO network is fast, in fact, compares favorably to using a similar USB modem on AT&T’s 3G/HSDPA network (the same one that the Apple iPhone 3G uses).

* Sprint commissioned KS&R to perform the study. Service and repair customers from all the major carriers were contacted. The online study surveyed respondents in 4Q 2008 who had a service and repair experience in the past three months. Based in Syracuse, NY, KS&R provides market research consulting services to help business better serve their customers.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving nearly 51 million customers at the end of the third quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

Source: Sprint

Roni Singleton, 404-649-1579