Canadian Wireless Customers Take Charge with Self-Service Online Tools

Wireless customers in Canada, notably Millennials, are increasingly taking a hands-on approach to resolving issues with their carrier by contacting customer service online and using chat tools, a shift in customer care preferences that has helped improve satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Canadian Wireless Customer Care Study.

The study measures wireless customers’ perceptions of their carrier’s performance in the estimated $22 billion wireless market. Satisfaction is measured across four factors (listed in order of importance): phone customer service representative; in-store service; online service; and phone automated response system.

In 2016, overall wireless customer care satisfaction rises to 738 from 715 in 2015 on a 1,000-point scale.

As wireless carriers face a maturing and potentially saturated market, customer service differentiation continues to be top of mind. According to the study, wireless customers are moving away from traditional phone contacts and instead adopting a self-service approach to resolving issues with their carrier by using online tools as their go-to method for contacting customer care.

The migration toward online channels is being driven by Millennials’ preference for self-service, which allows them to deal with issues whenever it’s convenient for them. Millennials, often digitally connected, are much more likely to have had a contact in a self-service-enabled channel than customers in the other generations.

“Wireless carriers need to embrace the shift to online self-service across all customer segments to provide a gratifying experience that matches customer behaviours,” said Adrian Chung, director at J.D. Power. “While Millennials have initially led the migration, customers across all generational groups are also being exposed to self-service tools with companies outside of telecom to resolve customer service issues in a timely and efficient manner. The task for carriers is to create awareness, educate customers and communicate the benefits of using these digital channels.”

Millennials contact customer service with relatively high frequency. As they become a larger share of the customer base, customer service becomes an increasingly important aspect of the overall customer experience.