August 20, 2008

Apple, Google Score High on Customer Satisfaction

Apple and Google, two Silicon Valley companies, garnered exceptionally high scores in terms of customers' satisfaction, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Apple got a rating of 85 out of 100, and Google garnered an 86, both the equivalent of getting an A-plus when it comes to consumer sentiment, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index published by the University of Michigan's National Quality Research Center.

Apple and Google experienced an improvement in already-solid reputations among consumers, something that is difficult to do, the center said.

Apple had an 8 percent boost in good consumer feelings while the PC industry as a whole suffered a second consecutive drop in satisfaction, falling 1 percent to a rating of 74, while all of its competitors, except for Dell -- up 1 percent -- saw declines, according to the index. Google, which dropped behind Yahoo last year, now leads its rival by a 12 percent margin, winning over more consumers through its powerful technology and growing services, such as news, weather, e-mail and maps, said the index.

American automobile manufacturers experienced slumping customer satisfaction even as their foreign competitors took top rankings. Lexus and BMW received the highest scores at 87, and Toyota and Honda each improved 2 percent to 86, the index showed.

Overall consumer satisfaction remained anemic, indicating consumer spending will remain weak with growth of no more than 2.3 percent in the third quarter, experts said.


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