Apple sees big slide in customer satisfaction

Posted by Ken Kola

Amazon's won the highest customer satisfaction rating in a survey  of online stores which also finds that Apple has seen its rating slip noticeably.

According to ForeSee’s annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index, Amazon gets a score of 88, allowing it to keep the top spot for the eighth year in a row - largely, says Foresee, because of the company's enormous range of products.

"At this point, Amazon has been dominant for so long and has such a history of focusing on the customer, its hard to imagine anyone else coming close," says Larry Freed, ForeSee president and CEO. "Companies should emulate Amazon's focus on the customer, which is clearly linked to superior revenues over the years."

The company says that 2012 was its biggest holiday ever, with over 26.5 million items ordered worldwide on its peak day - a record-breaking 306 items per second. For the second year in a row, the company's Kindle Fire HD was the most popular item for customers.

Apple, though, hasn't been quite so popular. Its score has slid by four points to just 80 - its lowest in four years, and enough of a drop to take it out of the top ten altogether.

"This year, we're seeing that even some of the largest companies in the country are at risk if they lose sight of customer satisfaction," says Freed.

"Satisfaction with the customer experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of future success, and while Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their usual focus on the customer experience. Dell, and JCPenney seem to be struggling to find their way, which could make them extremely vulnerable to competitors."

Foresee suggests that the company's prices are a problem for user satisfaction, and that the site itself might need an overhaul.

While a four-point drop might not seem like much, Forsee warns that it is more significant than might appear. Its analyses show, it says, that every one-point change in satisfaction rating translates to a 14 percent change in web revenues.