Surprising news out of the Wall Street Journal this morning, as according to research carried out by Forrester Research, Apple’s customers are less happy than those of mobile rivals Samsung and Sony, but even stodgy old Microsoft too.
The survey asked 7500 US consumers three simple questions about each company: How enjoyable were they to do business with? How easy were they to do business with? and How effective were they at meeting your needs? – with the focus being on customer service (so we’re not talking about how nice their apps are to use, and in Amazon’s case the survey was about Kindle users, not people who have bought the multitude of other stuff from them).
As the results show – it isn’t the case that Apple’s customer service has just got worse – it is that everyone else has got better, faster. And this should be particularly worrying to them given that not only are the other three companies snapping and their heels in the quest for smartphone dominance, but that because part of the Apple allure is its “premium brand” status.
Part of the way of building a premium brand is making people feel like they are cared about, and solving their problems quickly – which is why any trip to an Apple store will see you almost outnumbered by the number of blue-shirted Apple “Geniuses”, who are invariably creepily cheery. If this doesn’t make customers any happier… why pay more when those Microsoft Surface 2s down the street are cheaper than a Macbook Pro?
Apple isn’t the only story though – there’s already one company sailing ahead. Maintaining its commanding lead, Amazon’s Kindle users are the happiest, it seems. Speaking personally this isn’t surprising – though I’ve had a couple of faulty Kindles in my time, Amazon’s excellent customer services have replaced them and shipped out a new one super quickly. The only downside is that they don’t pay their tax.
Why not let us know your best and worst customer experiences in the comments?
By James O'Malley | January 22nd, 2014