Apple Still Winning the Customer Satisfaction Game

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 (s aapl) 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 (s msft). 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 (s dell) and HP (s hpq) 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):
Transient Apps: The Consumer Influence on Enterprise Mobility, Part 2