Apple sets new standard in customer satisfaction

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Customer satisfaction in the personal computer industry suffered another series of declines last quarter, though one standout was Apple, Inc., which defied the trend by recording its largest gain ever, according to a new consumer satisfaction survey.



The American Customer Satisfaction Index second quarter report, released Tuesday from the University of Michigan?s National Quality Research Center, said Apple's score of 85 was not only a company best, but also "a new all-time high for the industry."



By comparison, the Mac maker's rivals combined for the second consecutive drop in overall customer satisfaction with the PC industry, which saw scores fall a full percentage point to a rating of 74, surrendering all gains made since 2005.



Apple's 8 percent leap puts 10 points between the company and its nearest rival, one of the largest gaps between first and second in any industry measured by ACSI.



"It?s hard not to be impressed with Apple," said Professor Claes Fornell, head of the ACSI. "This is product extension at its best where the new products, iPod and iPhone, are helping bring new customers to existing computer products. The fact that Apple is not dependent on the Windows Vista operating system hasn?t hurt either."



The industry aggregate decline was largely a result of customer dissatisfaction with Windows-based machines, namely those from Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, and Compaq, Fornell added. Each saw a 4 percent falloff in satisfaction, dropping their respective scores to 73, 72, and 70. One exception was Dell, which saw its score inch up a point to 75.



Meanwhile, customer satisfaction with the e-business category of websites surged 6 percent to an all-time high of 79.3, largely a result of achievements on the part of Google.



After slipping behind Yahoo! for the first time last year, the search giant surged an unparalleled 10 percent to leave all rivals in its wake, according to the ACSI. Google's score 86 also set a new standard for e-businesses and opened a formidable nine-point gap between its nearest competitor, Yahoo!, which fell 3 percent to score a 77.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,728member
    So this survey was conducted before the MobileMe and iPhone 3G problems? Right?



    That's an impressive score, but given Apple's problems it suggests to me that the consumers just have really low expectations of consumer electronics these days
  • Reply 2 of 77
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    So this survey was conducted before the MobileMe and iPhone 3G problems? Right?



    That's an impressive score, but given Apple's problems it suggests to me that the consumers just have really low expectations of consumer electronics these days



    Consumer satisfaction does only measure whether a company has had problems or not. It also measures how well companies handled problems when they occur and leave the consumer feeling the problem was properly resolved.
  • Reply 3 of 77
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    This could be another measurement of people switching from Windows machines

    to Macs, and then being comparatively more satisfied.
  • Reply 4 of 77
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Customer satisfaction in the personal computer industry suffered another series of declines last quarter, though one standout was Apple, Inc., which defied the trend by recording its largest gain ever, according to a new consumer satisfaction survey.



    Certainly a good thing, but a leap that large suggests that there was some problem with the data.



    It should, however, put into perspective the scope of the problems people tend to whine about incessantly on these boards. It becomes an echo chamber (both for praise and for discontent) but in the broader market, the problems are very minimal.
  • Reply 5 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    So this survey was conducted before the MobileMe and iPhone 3G problems? Right?



    That's an impressive score, but given Apple's problems it suggests to me that the consumers just have really low expectations of consumer electronics these days



    Mr. H . . .



    Please, please try to remember this little aphorism, for it will help you with the rest of your life:



    "The greatest enemy of EXCELLENCE is not MEDIOCRITY. It is PERFECTION." Perfectionists are forever doomed to a life of disappointment and gloom.



    FYI: A nationally syndicated consumer advocate in Denver (Tom Martino) often reminds his listeners that ALL--I repeat, ALL--companies make mistakes. The larger the company, the larger the mistakes. (Witness Microsoft VISTA.) The important measure of those companies is how they deal with problems AFTER they are brought to light.



    As Apple grows, mistakes will--necessarily--arise more frequently and with more impact on consumers. That is inevitable, for the company is no longer a boutique, cult operation appealing to a very small minority. As consumers we must focus on how they deal with their errors and how they "make good" on them. So far, I've been more than pleased with their service. 'Tis pity if you have not.
  • Reply 6 of 77
    Well said, VinitaBoy.



    MobileMe users are using the present system for free right now. That is Apple's way of apologizing for the trouble some people are experiencing. iPhone users, on the other hand, are by and large extremely satisfied. I do not personally know a single iPhone user who is having real problems with their device, and I even know a mess of Apple employees.



    2.0.2 cleared up my contact list/keyboard speed issues (a minor concern when weighed against the value of the product as a whole) and my reception has always been great. Backup has been taking a while since a failed App install, though, so I'm pretty curious about that.
  • Reply 7 of 77
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,158member
    I see that the "forever dissatisfied" are at it already trying to explain away any good survey results for Apple. The gloom-and doom crowd just can't get it through their depressed heads that the user discussion forums, blogs and such are a microcosm of the vocal minority. Every time I read some rant about some show-stopping, deal-breaking "bug" that just everyone HAS to be experiencing I look at my machine and can't seem to find it.
  • Reply 8 of 77
    And the source for this article is?
  • Reply 9 of 77
    Apple is not selling a commodity but it is being compared to them. Dell, IBM, HP are all selling about the same thing. No disrespect they have a plan and an audience. Apple is charging MORE for their product but what do you know they are giving us back a better experiences both when the product is in use and often times when the product breaks down. I called apple with a iPhone ear bud that was not working. they seemed genuinely sorry and made it right (as in I had new buds the next day!)



    Pay more get more.. kind of simple



    Bryan
  • Reply 10 of 77
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cdnalsi View Post


    And the source for this article is?



    The American Consumer Satisfaction Index as is stated in the article.
  • Reply 11 of 77
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post


    Mr. H . . .



    Please, please try to remember this little aphorism, for it will help you with the rest of your life:



    "The greatest enemy of EXCELLENCE is not MEDIOCRITY. It is PERFECTION." Perfectionists are forever doomed to a life of disappointment and gloom.



    FYI: A nationally syndicated consumer advocate in Denver (Tom Martino) often reminds his listeners that ALL--I repeat, ALL--companies make mistakes. The larger the company, the larger the mistakes. (Witness Microsoft VISTA.) The important measure of those companies is how they deal with problems AFTER they are brought to light.



    As Apple grows, mistakes will--necessarily--arise more frequently and with more impact on consumers. That is inevitable, for the company is no longer a boutique, cult operation appealing to a very small minority. As consumers we must focus on how they deal with their errors and how they "make good" on them. So far, I've been more than pleased with their service. 'Tis pity if you have not.



    Well said, good post.



    I'm actually an upbeat, optimistic kind of guy in "real life", believe it or not . When I think of Apple I don't get all that gloomy; they do on the whole a better job than anyone else and there's no way on earth I'd want to use anything other than OS X on my home machine.



    However, this doesn't stop me from being a little disappointed by Apple's recent mis-steps and longer-term issues with the attention-to-detail they paid to OS X's GUI; much of it is excellent but there's bits and pieces which could do with more polish and I fear they will never receive it.
  • Reply 12 of 77
    hoganhogan Posts: 94member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Consumer satisfaction does only measure whether a company has had problems or not. It also measures how well companies handled problems when they occur and leave the consumer feeling the problem was properly resolved.



    Very true, but to be quite fair, Apple has not only failed to resolve obvious problems, it has failed to even admit of their existence. Their wall of silence does little to assure anyone.



    I will not speak for others but I have a much lower regard for Apple and the manner in which they have support their customers after the release of iPhone 3G.



    Since ownership, I have been affllicted with dreadful iPhone 3G issues including OS freezes, just a ridiculous number of Safari crashes, slowness but the biggest issue for me was that a N95 could make a call in the same room on the same carrier at the same time (even with the same SIM) while the iPhone 3G consistently gave "No service." The dropped calls are just ridiculous, while the N95 could make and receive calls without a problem. The iPhone was exchnaged, and a 2nd returned again permanently when I experinced the same problems and when the Apple "Genius bar" people denied that they knew of any problem, and simply encouraged me to turn off 3G.



    And I am not alone... ttp://blogs.eweek.com/applewatch/content/iphone/is_it_the_phone_or_the_network.html
  • Reply 13 of 77
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hogan View Post


    Very true, but to be quite fair, Apple has not only failed to resolve obvious problems, it has failed to even admit of their existence. Their wall of silence does little to assure anyone.



    I will not speak for others but I have a much lower regard for Apple and the manner in which they have support their customers after the release of iPhone 3G.



    Since ownership, I have been affllicted with dreadful iPhone 3G issues including OS freezes, just a ridiculous number of Safari crashes, slowness but the biggest issue for me was that a N95 could make a call in the same room on the same carrier at the same time (even with the same SIM) while the iPhone 3G consistently gave "No service." The dropped calls are just ridiculous, while the N95 could make and receive calls without a problem. The iPhone was exchnaged, and a 2nd returned again permanently when I experinced the same problems and when the Apple "Genius bar" people denied that they knew of any problem, and simply encouraged me to turn off 3G.



    And I am not alone... ttp://blogs.eweek.com/applewatch/content/iphone/is_it_the_phone_or_the_network.html



    Of course you're not alone, but siting blogs doesn't change the fact that at maximum, only 3% (or less) of iPhones are having these problems, well within accepted tolerances for personal electronics. As Vinita said, with the internet as it is, you create a microcosm where you get the same group of people complaining about their dissatisfaction (instead of y'know, using the support system Apple offers) over and over. It's like when people talk about the "vast number" of complaints on Apple's support boards, when you look at said complaints, you see the same names posting over and over and over. They have every possible problem known to the system, it almost makes you wonder why they continue to buy Apple products if they have all these problems (or if they own the products at all).
  • Reply 14 of 77
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bryankia View Post


    Pay more get more.. kind of simple



    Bryan



    Indeed.
  • Reply 15 of 77
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Certainly a good thing, but a leap that large suggests that there was some problem with the data.



    No, it doesn't. Changes like this usually mean that eople are looking at things in a different way. Several years ago, few people looked at Apple products, and Apple was just marketing in the computer area, and mostly to current customers.



    Now, with other, more consumer oriented products, this has changed.



    Quote:

    It should, however, put into perspective the scope of the problems people tend to whine about incessantly on these boards. It becomes an echo chamber (both for praise and for discontent) but in the broader market, the problems are very minimal.



    An example with my new iPhone is that I'm having the reception problems that others are having. Very frustrating at times. But, despite that, when reception is working well, the internet functionality is simply amazing. So is the game playing ability. Other programs such as the audio spectrum analyzer, and others are not available on any other comparable platform.



    Even the 3D performance is mind boggling right now. I don't know of any other phone with accelerated 3D graphics like this. Try the free game Moonlight Mahjong Lite. The Open GL acceleration is amazing!. You can move the board sideways, up and down. You can rotate it, not only around its horizontal axis, but around its vertical axis as well, which changes the angle of view, just like any 3D program does with camera view. You can expand or shrink the board. It's all drawn in vector, so that the tiles, as well as the symbols on them, gain detail as they are expanded. It really has to be seen to be believed!



    These factors make a satisfaction level very high for a product with some remaining problems. It's why it's not hard to understand why Apple's numbers have moved up as much as they did.
  • Reply 16 of 77
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post


    Mr. H . . .



    Please, please try to remember this little aphorism, for it will help you with the rest of your life:



    "The greatest enemy of EXCELLENCE is not MEDIOCRITY. It is PERFECTION." Perfectionists are forever doomed to a life of disappointment and gloom.



    FYI: A nationally syndicated consumer advocate in Denver (Tom Martino) often reminds his listeners that ALL--I repeat, ALL--companies make mistakes. The larger the company, the larger the mistakes. (Witness Microsoft VISTA.) The important measure of those companies is how they deal with problems AFTER they are brought to light.



    As Apple grows, mistakes will--necessarily--arise more frequently and with more impact on consumers. That is inevitable, for the company is no longer a boutique, cult operation appealing to a very small minority. As consumers we must focus on how they deal with their errors and how they "make good" on them. So far, I've been more than pleased with their service. 'Tis pity if you have not.



    Very true. Good points.
  • Reply 17 of 77
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hogan View Post


    Very true, but to be quite fair, Apple has not only failed to resolve obvious problems, it has failed to even admit of their existence. Their wall of silence does little to assure anyone.



    I will not speak for others but I have a much lower regard for Apple and the manner in which they have support their customers after the release of iPhone 3G.



    Since ownership, I have been affllicted with dreadful iPhone 3G issues including OS freezes, just a ridiculous number of Safari crashes, slowness but the biggest issue for me was that a N95 could make a call in the same room on the same carrier at the same time (even with the same SIM) while the iPhone 3G consistently gave "No service." The dropped calls are just ridiculous, while the N95 could make and receive calls without a problem. The iPhone was exchnaged, and a 2nd returned again permanently when I experinced the same problems and when the Apple "Genius bar" people denied that they knew of any problem, and simply encouraged me to turn off 3G.



    And I am not alone... ttp://blogs.eweek.com/applewatch/content/iphone/is_it_the_phone_or_the_network.html



    Consumers know that Apple doesn't comment much. That's nothing new. They are also all too familiar with most companies, which while they do comment, often dissemble. So the non commenting from Apple, until they find fixes, is often though of as positive. I think some people make too much of it.



    The only problem I've had with our three new phones is the signal strength problem on internet connections. No dropped calls, so far. No crashes with any Apple programs, or any of the 19 I've downloaded for free, or bought.
  • Reply 18 of 77
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    This could be another measurement of people switching from Windows machines

    to Macs, and then being comparatively more satisfied.



    I agree totally. Also, people that bought the original iPhones were given new ones multiple times over whenver they had a problem, even if they busted them obviously themselves, to insure it's initial success.

    Anyone who remembers Apple from over 3-5 years ago remembers when AppleCare wasn't outsource to India (no offense) and you could actually talk to someone with a .Mac question. And the genius bar was actually a pleasant experience.

    Now that was when Apple had great customer service
  • Reply 19 of 77
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I agree totally. Also, people that bought the original iPhones were given new ones multiple times over whenver they had a problem, even if they busted them obviously themselves, to insure it's initial success.

    Anyone who remembers Apple from over 3-5 years ago remembers when AppleCare wasn't outsource to India (no offense) and you could actually talk to someone with a .Mac question. And the genius bar was actually a pleasant experience.

    Now that was when Apple had great customer service



    Whatever thread we're on, you are always negative. Most people don't find these "problems" to be true, and the rising level of satisfaction supports that. You seem to be riding into the wind.
  • Reply 20 of 77
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,876member
    While there is no such thing as a perfect product, Apple's products have always been perfect for me and I'm grateful for having the option of choosing their products over others. In the 20+ years I've owned Macs and other Apple products rarely have I experienced serious issues and those I had, were fixed without the need of running through hoops to get it done.



    I think the biggest reason for the jump in satisfaction comes from all the support options you get from the local Apple Stores. I don't believe any other consumer electronics manufacturer has anything like it? Which further proves Apple is willing to stand behind its products and make sure its users and customers have the best experience using their products.



    Everyone likes to point to the barrage of complaints posted on blogs, message boards and Apple's own support forums and to the regurgitated online news articles as an indicator that the sky is falling. The problem is most people only voice their opinion when they're having issues, so it seems like everyone is having a problem when in fact it could only be a small percentage of the over all user base.
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