American Customers Are Most Satisfied With The iPhone, According To ACSI
So you asked Siri to find you “the best smart phone ever,” and it pulled up the Nokia Lumina 900 from Wolfram Alpha… based on 4 reviews from Best Buy’s website. Is that an accurate reflection of customer satisfaction? As fate would have it, the ACSI released some helpful numbers yesterday.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index gave Apple the highest score for customer satisfaction out of all the phone manufacturers it sampled for its May 2012 report. The ACSI derives their scores from interviews with a company’s customers, selected at random, and measures for customer expectations, perceived quality, perceived value, customer complains, and customer loyalty, and assigns a score out of 100. According to their FAQs, for each company’s index rating they interview 250 customers.
While Apple received the highest score of 83, Research In Motion was saddled the lowest score of 69. The report cites RIM’s hardware and software issues, as well as server lapses which caused email/messaging outages as explanations for RIM’s poor customer satisfaction index rating. Coinciding with this is RIM’s recent share price collapse. As we’ve reported, RIM’s stock hit an eight year low earlier this month. (Although that coincided with the unveiling of BlackBerry 10.)
On Apple the report says, “no other cell phone company has ever broken into the 80s.” Second place is a three-way tie between Nokia, LG, and HTC at 75. Motorola declines from last year’s rating of 78 to 73 and Samsung drops from 75 to a below-average 71. It looks like even with the Lumina, Apple trumps Nokia in customer satisfaction.
Apple’s phone score of 83 is actually below the customer satisfaction score given to Apple for its Mac and iPad products (which is 87 according to their report from September, before the 3rd generation iPad was released). It seems Macs and iPads make customers happier than any phone.
This is the first year that the ASCI tested Apple, LG, HTC, or RIM as cell phone manufacturers, so this test isn’t able to compare this year’s results to a previous year’s. (What took them so long? Apple’s been a significant player in the smartphone game since the iPhone launched in 2007. RIM’s been in the game before there were smartphones.)
My biggest problem with these neat indexed scores is that they don’t include any indication of a margin of error. These are samples and not measures of Apple’s consumers (or Nokia’s, or RIM’s). There’s has to be a margin of error (probably 6% for a sample size of 250), as well as respondent biases for people who are willing to answer telephone surveys about their phones. Although even with a ~6% mathamatical margin of error for a sample size of 250, Apple seems to have a significant lead.
Do you think these reports accurately reflect the attitudes of Apple’s customers? How about for Nokia and RIM? You can provide us with the most accurate feedback possible for the sample size of “you” in the comments section below.