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Summary:

A new survey measuring customer service among computer users was released today. To those who own a Mac, it probably won’t come as a surprise that Apple ranked highest. It was Apple’s best ever rating, though it wasn’t the only company to claim that honor.

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A new survey measuring customer service among computer users was released today. To those who own a Mac, it probably won’t come as a surprise that Apple ranked highest among all companies covered in the study. It was Apple’s highest ever rating, in fact, though it wasn’t the only company to achieve its highest rating.

PC makers also had their highest-ever satisfaction ratings in the survey, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), mostly due to the introduction of Windows 7. If you’ve switched from Vista to 7, you’ll probably see why. It’s like washing dishes by hand your entire life, then switching to a dishwasher late in life: so much better, it feels like you’re getting away with something.

However, Apple’s still got quite a lead on its nearest competitors. Acer, Dell and HP are the next closest big brands, with approval ratings of 77 out of 100. That’s almost ten points less than Apple’s 86, which is two points up from 2009′s score of 84.

Apple’s score includes users’ experiences with the new iPad, which is great news for the Mac maker. It means iPad owners are satisfied with their devices, and aren’t experiencing much early adopter dissatisfaction or buyer’s remorse. It’s also good news for Mac users who fear Apple’s growing focus on iOS, since Cupertino isn’t likely to ignore a silo where they have such a strong advantage over the rest of the market in such a crucial area.

Here’s the real key to Apple’s success: I’ve never had an Apple hardware-related support issue go unresolved. If you asked me to measure my satisfaction with my PCs, I’d have a very different story to tell. Being told “Oh yeah, they’ll do that” when you complain that your computer overheats and just shuts down of its own accord after only a year of ownership is not conducive to high marks, and that’s what happened with the last Windows machine I owned.

Anyone feel like Apple’s customer service reputation isn’t quite as deserved as it seems? Sound off in the comments.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):
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  1. I’ve personally never had a bad Apple customer service experience.

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  2. Neither my work-issue ThinkPad nor personal MacBook Pro, both of about the same vintage and specification, have been problematic, but the MBP is a much nicer machine. The build, the finish, the OS… they’re great.

    I just wish the hinge would open a little wider.

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  3. Having been With Macs since 2001, I will say that their phone help line has gotten far more rigid and by the rules, and the initial people talked to have less expertise than what I experience in past years. I have to get to the second tier before a person with true expertise is talking.
    Ah but such is life when the company has quadrupled in size.

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  4. The thing that keeps me amazed, time after time, is the fact that Apple’s devices never really seem to get ‘worse’: my iPhone is just as fast as when I bought it, my MacBook is still going strong after two years of hard laboring. Compare that to an HTC Android phone, or an Acer laptop.

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  5. Product is cool but customer service really sucks! So enjoy it while you can.

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