updated 02:30 pm EDT, Tue July 11, 2006
Apple, Google find loyalty
Apple, Google and Symantec are among the high-technology companies with the most loyal customers, according to a new report based on data from early last year. The company conducted three separate studies looking at the Online Services, Computing, and Consumer Services sectors of the high technology industry, assessing various companies' commitment to maximizing customer experience and driving revenue growth through customer loyalty. Satmetrix sought to discover how likely customers were to recommend the company to a friend or colleague, creating a proprietary Net Promoter Score for each company. Apple received the highest score for the 'Computer' category, while Google was first in 'Online Services' and Symantec tops in 'Consumer Software.'
"The companies with the highest Net Promoter scores are well known for their market performance and brand leadership," said Dr. Laura Brooks, vice president of research and business consulting at Satmetrix Systems. "Apple, whose score far outranks its closest competitor, is well known for its passionate and dedicated customer base. Google's high Net Promoter Score establishes it as a clear leader in the emerging market of online services, with corresponding strong performance in share price. Symantec, in the more highly competitive and established consumer software business, is beginning to differentiate itself, largely on the strong showing of its Norton suite of products."
Both Apple and Google are the most widely recognized and profiled technology companies. Recently, Google displaced Apple as the No. 1 company on The Wired 40, Wired's annual listings of its top companies that have basic fundamentals such as strategic vision, global reach, and killer technology as well as an "X-factor, a hunger for new ideas and an impatience to put them into practice
The Net Promoter Score measures customer experience and profitable growth. It allows companies to track promoters -- customers who have a favorable view of doing business with the company and who will actively promote it -- as well as detractors, those who have a negative view and will tell colleagues, encouraging potential customers to take their business elsewhere. The score produces the single most reliable indicator of a company's ability to grow by measuring its performance in its customers' eyes.
Apple, Google, and Symantec's customers also indicated that there are certain aspects of a business which have a large impact on their likelihood to recommend and that these drivers are consistent across the high-technology industry, including overall product or service; overall value (including the company's fees and charges); company reputation; and customer service/support.
The results of the Net Promoter Industry Report 2006 are based on responses from customers regarding their experiences with their actual provider, according to Satmetrix. The company sent an email invitation that explains the purpose of the survey, offers an incentive to participate, and provides a link that allows individuals to click through to the Satmetrix survey site. All respondents are familiar with the products and services that are the subject of the survey, having purchased them as a personal consumer. The study was based on responses from the first half of 2005.