Dell Computer Corp. beat
Apple for first place in a study published by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Still, Apple’s second place rating put it ahead of other computer manufacturers such as Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq.
On a scale from 0-100, Dell had the highest score of 76, compared to Apple’s 73. However, Apple’s score was the same as last year’s, and the company was the only one that didn’t see its rating slip. (Dell’s ratings have declined for two years running.)
Apple has increased customer satisfaction since its low points in 1997 and 1998 and enjoys a “fairly high level of customer loyalty,” the index notes. In an ACSI commentary regarding the study, it notes that the erosion in customer satisfaction with personal computers “is now substantially below what it used to be, as well as below the national ACSI average.” That’s bad news because further erosion in customer service and satisfaction will dampen repeat business and most PC purchases are from repeat buyers, according to the ACSI.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index is designed to be an “independent measure of household consumption experience.” It’s compiled via a partnership with the University of Michigan Business School, the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and the international consulting firm, CFI Group. Scores are based on econometric modeling of data obtained from actual telephone interviews with over 70,000 consumers.
Apple was given the number one ranking from a Consumer Reports study surveying its customer base.