|Apple remains the industry leader of customer satisfaction despite falling 5 percent in the eyes of consumers since the second quarter of 2006 according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. The Cupertino-based company along with Dell helped to drag down the entire PC industry 3 percent in total. Apple's score now stands at 79. Dell, meanwhile, continues to experience customer service problems that have pushed the company back near the bottom of the PC rankings with a score of 74. HP improved 1% to 76, though its Compaq division is the worst in the industry at 73.
Professor Claes Fornell, head of the ACSI at the University of Michigan, believes Apple's decline may be related to the company's outstanding performance. "Apple has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years," Fornell said. "As Toyota can attest, it's not easy to manage quality and customer satisfaction when a company quickly has to increase production or provide service to a larger number of customers." Dell, conversely, ultimately worked its way back near the bottom of PC rankings, according to The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Meanwhile, Yahoo! improved 4 percent to 79 to take the lead over Google for portals and search engines. The ACSI attributes the change to a number of design changes and enhancements that it says are paying off for Yahoo! in higher customer satisfaction, which will be "critical to turning around this year’s lackluster financials."