CIRP has shared a new analyst note today covering Q3 results for the major US wireless carriers. T-Mobile was the clear leader with the highest customer retention rate as well as seeing the greatest customer growth.

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T-Mobile came away from the last quarter seeing 19% customer growth, and 30% of those new customers came from its competitors. The un-carrier also enjoyed the highest customer retention rate of the bunch with 85%.

Verizon was the only other carrier to see customer growth, but it was much more modest at 4%. AT&T saw a customer decline of 6% while Sprint saw a loss of 5%.

Verizon was the closest to T-Mobile for customer retention with 82% with AT&T coming in third with 78% and Sprint at 72% retention.

wireless customer retention

CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin noted that the tables have turned for Verizon and AT&T who have traditionally seen the best customer growth and retention.

“We take a quarterly view of loyalty and churn, focusing on customers who activate a phone in the quarter,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Retention rates vary from 72% for Sprint to 85% for T-Mobile. The traditional leaders have been AT&T and Verizon, which are now in the middle with 78% and 82% retention. New customers make up the rest of the equation. T-Mobile is leading there, too, bringing in 1.5 to 2 times more new customers relative to their base than their main competitors.”

T-Mobile recently revamped its customer service approach and it could be having a positive effect on the carrier’s customer growth and retention. Meanwhile, Sprint and the un-carrier are still waiting hear about FCC approval for their merger plans.

CIRP’s Josh Lowitz noted the turn around that T-Mobile has made over the last fours years.

“After aggressively attracting new customers in recent years, T-Mobile is succeeding in keeping them at renewal time,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Four years ago T-Mobile and Sprint were both losing 30% of their customers who activated a new phone. Now, T-Mobile is retaining 85% of its customers and is at parity with Verizon and AT&T. It looks like the growing base of T-Mobile customers are satisfied with their service and pricing when it is time to buy their next phone.”


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