ACSI Report: E-Business Declines 0.8 Percent

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The Ann Arbor-based American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) today released the results of their E-Business Report for 2017. ACSI is an economic indicator of customer evaluations. The report examines the implications of rising customer standards for three e-business categories: social media, search engines, and news and opinion.

“It is no surprise that opinion beats informational fact in customer satisfaction,” says Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of ACSI. “As long as there are enough opinion sites available, it is easier to find a match between site and user opinion than it is to match opinion to fact.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Customer satisfaction with e-business is down 0.8 percent to 74.3 on a 100-point scale. This is the first decline for e-business in four years and is a result of user dissatisfaction with internet news and opinion websites as well as search engines and information websites. Social media is the only category unaffected.
  • Users are increasingly viewing social media as a news source, resulting in customer satisfaction with social media remaining stable at an ACSI score of 73. Twitter has increased the most, overtaking Facebook with an 8 percent jump to a score of 70. Google+ may have a smaller user base than other social media sites, but its users are the most satisfied. The new features and redesign of the site launched in January put Google+ at the top of the category (up 7 percent to 81).
  • Twitter is in second place, rebounding 3 percent to 78 due to improvements in efficiency and search technology. Wikipedia dropped 1 percent to 77 percent. With the number of editors decreasing, it is more challenging to maintain quality and trustworthiness, however Wikipedia remains above the industry average in user satisfaction.
  • Instagram is up 1 percent to an ACSI score of 75 thanks to user enhancements and the introduction of “stories.” YouTube, however, falls 4 percent to 74, just above the industry average. A year after dropping 9 percent to 68, Facebook is unchanged. While Facebook remains well below its peak score from 2015, it is still ahead of its historic average of 66. LinkedIn stays in last place at 65.
  • A year ago, the presidential election boosted news and opinion websites, but changed reader perceptions of news outlets. Customer satisfaction with traditional news and opinion outlets has dropped 1.3 percent to 75, while Twitter is gaining in user satisfaction and importance as a major news feed.
  • Customer satisfaction with search engines and information websites falls 1.3 percent to 76 as all of the top search engines lose ground. Google slips 2 percent to 82. However, with a 9-point lead over its nearest major competitor, Google faces little threat.
  • In a draw for second place among the major sites, Microsoft’s Bing is down 3 percent to tie Yahoo!, which is down 1 percent at 73. AOL is the only search and information site to improve with a 1 percent gain to 70. In last place, Answers.com is down 1 percent to 68.

The report is based on 4,978 customer surveys collected between June 25,2016 and May 9, 2017. The full report is available for download here.

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