Thursday, August 01, 2013

Say it ain't so: Samsung tops Apple in ACSI customer satisfaction survey

Samsung has topped Apple in a customer satisfaction survey, a report said on Wednesday, and despite the fact that it was not a J.D. Power survey, Apple fans have to be shocked.

The results come from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and -- although limited to just smartphones -- shows Samsung is making major improvements in its customer satisfaction marks. Another ACSI survey done in May showed that, overall, as opposed to smartphone only, Apple held a five-point lead over Samsung, but that the Korean giant was gaining rapidly.

The new study surveys customer satisfaction for ten of the past year's top selling smartphones in the U.S. Notably, Samsung's current flagship, the Galaxy S4, is not included due to the timing of the study.
Samsung’s flagship model for 2012, the S III, receives an ACSI benchmark of 84 (on a 0 to 100 scale), beating Apple’s iPhone 5 at 82, the company’s most recent smartphone offering. Another Samsung model, Note II, shares the top of list at 84. Galaxy S4 is not included because the ACSI study was fielded just prior to its launch.
Interestingly, Samsung fails to beat Apple in its home market.
While U.S. customers give Samsung’s smartphones the top scores, Korean consumers prefer Apple. According to the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) in South Korea, which uses the same technology as the ACSI, the iPhone 5 has higher customer satisfaction than Galaxy S III… Unlike Apple, which has a smartphone-only lineup, Samsung offers both feature and smartphones. At 76, Samsung continues to lag Apple for overall customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, the company’s 7% gain in 2013 is a clear reflection of the strength of Galaxy S III.
ACSI Director David VanAmburg notes an interesting factoid: The iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 show nearly identical customer satisfaction numbers.
Not only does Samsung edge ahead of all iPhones, Apple customers themselves don’t see much difference between the iPhone 4, 4S or 5. The latest earnings report from Apple was better than expected, but the name of the game for Apple has always been innovation.

Samsung, on the other hand, shows a strong upward ACSI trend from the Galaxy S II to the Galaxy S III. If the S4 performs as well—or even better—in the eyes of customers, Samsung could threaten Apple’s dominance in overall customer satisfaction.
What about the fact that Apple's overall ACSI score is still five points ahead of Samsung's? There isn't an app for that, but there might be a reason.
Unlike Apple, which has a smartphone-only lineup, Samsung offers both feature and smartphones. At 76, Samsung continues to lag Apple for overall customer satisfaction. Nevertheless, the company’s 7% gain in 2013 is a clear reflection of the strength of Galaxy S III.



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