Customer Satisfaction with PCs Down, Apple Still Leads

The American Customer Satisfaction Index recently found that customer satisfaction with their PCs is declining, in general. Apple still leads everyone, but Appleis score has also declined.

The annual survey was conducted by the University of Michigan by asking 80,000 customers how they viewed quality, price, problems and future purchasing plans. C|Net covered the results on Tuesday. The highest possible score is 100, but anything in the 70s is good, according to Professor Claes Fornell, the director of the National Quality Research Center.

Apple lead with a score of 79, down 5 from last year. HP scored 76, up a point from last year. Dellis score was 74, down 5 points from last year. Compaq was the worst with 73. Compaq seems to be suffering from a troubled brand problem, and HP has not yet been able to lift Compaq out of that status.

On the Apple side, "Apple has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, said Prof. Fornell. "As Toyota can attest, it?s not easy to manage quality and customer satisfaction when a company quickly has to increase production or provide service to a larger number of customers."

John Spooner, an analyst with TBRi, a market research firm pointed out that these perceptions are hard to change. "Customer perception doesnit change very fast," he said. "You can do tremendous amounts of work and not move the needle very much."