Is Apple Losing Out On Customer Satisfaction?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 23, 2014

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Apple has always held a reputation for being a customer-centric company, designing phones that customers just love. The Cupertino-based phone maker may need to think again on its upcoming models. A recent Forrester Research survey finds that Apple has slipped behind its rivals for the first time in the area of customer satisfaction.

The Forrester study that aimed at finding out which consumer electronics brands make consumers happy showed Apple is lagging slightly behind Sony, Microsoft and Samsung, its major competitors and this is certainly a point to take note of, mentions a WSJ report. The measurement of satisfaction has been defined along parameters such as ease of interaction and enjoyability of interaction when dealing with certain tech companies. “The survey attempts to quantify the somewhat squishy and hard-to-define criteria of customer experience,” says the report.

Ratings of these companies were also divided into various categories, based on their method of interaction with customers. Forrester made distinctions between the experience of buying Amazon’s own Kindle products as opposed to buying products listed by other merchants on Amazon. The online retailer scored the highest among 17 consumer electronics manufacturers with a 91% “excellent” rating for Kindle customers. Sony follows Amazon with an 83% rating, Microsoft and Samsung stalk at 82%. Apple gets an 81%. Interesting to note all three companies were behind Apple in last year’s survey. Even if the rating is not excellent, Forrester states that any rating between 76 and 85 is thought to be “good,” says the report.

Apple Retail Stores have gone from magical in the Steve Jobs and Ron Johnson days to passable-at-best-but-usually-worse under Tim Cook or John Browett’s era, observes a MacDailyNews reviewer. The Forrester report can be used as a tool for Apple Retail Store employees and management to increase focus on the consumers, he says.

Another Forrester report released earlier this month reveals that Software giant Microsoft is reportedly more trusted than Apple, where respondents said Microsoft was at the forefront of brand building with a unique and distinct brand identity that sets it apart from other brands. Samsung was voted by consumers as the most innovative company. As UTA Brand Studio’s founder and executive director, Larry Vincent said in a blog: “A lot of the world uses Microsoft products and people relate to it, while Apple is like a prom king or queen, beautiful but not really like us.”

Apple’s high price tag is also a restraint for many, an image it is now changing in the emerging markets. However, it is important for Apple to understand the preference of people, across category and geography and serve them in a way, so as to gain back the customer’s lost confidence in them.