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April 10, 2023
According to some new measurements of customer satisfaction, T-Mobile is widening its lead over Verizon.
"When looking at US consumer perception/satisfaction of wireless services, we can see that both NPS [Net Promoter Score] and CS [Customer Satisfaction] scores have dropped since the end of 2020. Verizon, the historical industry leader, fell behind T-Mobile on both metrics in 2H22 and has remained so into February '23," wrote the financial analysts at Evercore in a recent note to investors. The analysts cited data from HundredX, which based its findings on a three-month rolling average of surveys sent to participants.
"The most significant trends in wireless consumer perception over the past two years has been improved consumer perception of T-Mobile and lower relative perception of Verizon," the Evercore analysts added.
Broadly, the analysts pointed to findings showing that T-Mobile has significantly improved its NPS and CS scores during the past 18 months. Verizon's scores, meanwhile, have remained mostly unchanged.
Figure 1: (Source: Robert K. Chin - Storefronts/Alamy Stock Photo)
However, the firm reported that T-Mobile's net loyalty score (NLI) remains below that of Verizon. "We believe this to be a byproduct of T-Mobile's customer base, which is more value focused, and more likely to switch."
T-Mobile officials are well aware of the situation. "Our net promoter scores are the highest in the industry," CEO Mike Sievert said in February during his company's most recent quarterly conference call. He suggested the situation would help T-Mobile in part compete against Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter Communications' Spectrum Mobile offerings. The two cable companies have been a growing success in the mobile industry.
The HundredX figures cited by Evercore are noteworthy as the first quarter comes to a close. AT&T is scheduled to kick off the first quarter earnings reporting season next week. Most analysts expect T-Mobile to walk away with a commanding share of the sector's postpaid net customer additions.
For example, the financial analysts at Wells Fargo recently predicted that T-Mobile will gain 560,000 new postpaid phone net customer additions in the first quarter, "the best among the Big 3," they wrote. The "Big 3" are T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T.
The analysts add that T-Mobile remains "a compelling value proposition," and they expect the company to raise its overall guidance for 2023 during its first quarter earnings report. T-Mobile routinely raises its yearly guidance during its mid-year quarterly reports.
Conversely, the Wells Fargo analysts aren't expecting much out of Verizon in the first quarter. "We expect Verizon's Consumer Group to lose 285,000 phone customers in Q1, a modest improvement vs. Q1 a year ago but still not necessarily an ideal result," they wrote.
Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading
Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.
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