Forrester Survey Shows Apple Tops in Customer Service

Apple crushed its PC competition in the area of customer service in a new survey conducted by Forrester Research. In a blog post by Bruce Temkin, who conducted the survey for Forrester, he said that Apple beat out Compaq, Gateway, HP, and Dell, and was the #1 PC vendor in all three categories the survey examined.

Apple was given a "Good" rating with an 80% score in the survey. The company's closest competitor, Gateway, was a distant second with a 66% score, while HP scored a 64%, Compaq a 63%, and Dell...well, Dell got a 58%.

There is no word yet on whether Dell's leadership will be selling the company's assets and returning the money to its shareholders.

Apple's biggest strength in the survey was in the category of offering "easy to use" computers. The Mac-maker scored 17 percentage points above the other vendors, and had a 15 points lead over the others for "being enjoyable" to use. According to Mr. Temkin, "Dell landed at the bottom of the PC rankings because it was rated well below the other firms in the areas of being easy to work with and being enjoyable."

Mr. Temkin also addressed Apple vs. Dell in a comment on his blog entry that looked at the larger survey, which included a variety of companies other than computer firms. Mr. Temkin was asked a question about Dell, and said:

"I haven't studied Dell, but here's my observation: Dell got so focused on operational efficiency that it lost site of customer experience (from the product and service side). The issue was attenuated by the Mac’s resurrection, since Apple gave consumers a higher set of expectations. And I do think Microsoft’s software has a bit to do with it; consumers don’t distinguish problems with the operating system from problems with the PC manufacturer."

In other words, all of the PC manufacturers are being burdened by the poor experience offered by the Windows operating system, while Dell itself spent too many years and too many billions of dollars pouring research into how to use one less screw in its manufacturing process instead of developing products and technologies that people want to actually use.