Survey reveals customer concern

US PC consumers feel glum about after sale assistance
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A survey conducted by the American Customer Satisfaction Index has shown that general customer satisfaction has fallen three percent on last years study.

And that's not the worst of it, many companies are still regarded as unhelpful when it comes to customer assistance and drops as steep as five per cent in one year have occurred.

The study conducted by the University of Michigan was published Tuesday and showed that Apple is still the leader; despite being one of the companies who's satisfaction dropped five per cent. Dell's customer satisfaction also dropped five per cent on last year's analysis. HP satisfaction rose one per cent in a year.

Claes Fornell, director of the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan, said: "It probably means for the economy at large that we will see a slowdown in consumer spending [next quarter] and consumer demand as well. We've seen a pretty strong correlation between customers and how satisfied they are and their future purchase behavior."

"Dell dropped five percent after raising its ranking last year. Dell's problem is customers' perception of product reliability, as well as service," Fornell said. "As examples, just this year, both shipping delays of the much-anticipated XPS M1330 notebook and the New York attorney general's decision to sue Dell for consumer fraud have made news."

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A peripheral concern?

We all know the PC market has been showing excellent growth over the last couple of years. Despite a decline in desktop PC sales (down 9.7 per cent this February against February 2009) the total PC market has continued to see good growth, with notebooks and, more recently, netbooks driving sales forward (up 5.1 per cent over the same period).