The American Consumer Satisfaction Index is a long-running study, conducted every quarter, that measures U.S. consumers’ perceptions of the quality of services and products. The ASCI is one of the mide widely-cited and most respected measures of perceived brand quality and consumer satisfaction in the nation, and its results are often seen as significant economic indicators for industries.
This quarter, Apple and Google found their stock in the ASCI going up…while U.S. automobile manufacturers and major appliance maker Whirlpool took it on the chin.
In the personal computer industry, the overall trend was downward, with the industry as a whole slipping one percent to an overall satisfaction rating of 74. However, Apple bucked the trend, seeing its largest gain in customer satisfaction ever, reaching a new industry all-time high of 85. Apple’s new score puts it a whopping 10 points higher than the next highest-ranked PC company, Dell (which also went up a point). All other PC makers saw their scores drop three points.
In the Internet portal/search engine category, Google has reclaimed the top spot from rival Yahoo, posting a ten percent jump in satisfaction to a score of 86. Yahoo has previously edged out Google by one point last year, but fell three percent for a score of 77. Google’s improved score “sets a new standard for e-businesses,” according to the ASCI.
Traditional American businesses didn’t do so well: no domestic auto maker managed to place among the highest-ranked auto brands, although consumer satisfaction with the industry actually remains at an all-time high of 82. However, Chevrolet fell four percent to 79, Dodge fell three percent to 78.
Among appliance manufacturers, Whirlpool took a big hit, seeing its consumer satisfaction rating slide five percent to a still-respectable score of 80. General Electric and Electrolux each dropped one percent to 80.
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