Apple and Samsung are continuing their two-way battle for customer satisfaction supremacy in the personal computer industry, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index released by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Apple continues to hold the top spot with an ACSI score of 82 (out of 100). But its lead shrinks compared to last year after a 1 percent decline. Samsung is in second place with a mark of 81. Along with Apple, Samsung now leads all tablet manufacturers in customer satisfaction.
Acer inches up 1 percent to tie Amazon (down 1 percent) for third place at 78.
Three PC makers fall just below the industry average with scores of 77: ASUS (up 1 percent), HP (down 1 percent), and Dell (unchanged). Close by, Lenovo and the group of smaller PC makers both move up 3 percent to 76.
Toshiba sits at the bottom of the industry, down 3 percent to 75. As of August 2020, Toshiba has exited the market, transferring its remaining stake in its personal computer business over to Sharp.
After climbing 1.3 percent last year, overall customer satisfaction with personal computers – including desktops, laptops, and tablets – is steady at 78, according to the 2019-2020 ACSI index.
Desktop computer users remain more satisfied (with a score of 80) than both laptop and tablet users, despite slipping 1 percent year over year. Satisfaction with laptops is the lowest at 77, while tablets fall in between with a score of 78.
“While user satisfaction with PCs has been relatively steady since 2010, COVID-19 opened customers’ eyes to what they were missing,” says David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI. “Part of the PC sales revival stems from users upgrading older machines. As customers’ use of PCs increases, they’re likely to be even more critical of their devices. PC manufacturers would do well to implement customer feedback to keep satisfaction high and build loyalty.”
Customer satisfaction with software for desktops and laptops continues its backward slide, retreating 2.6 percent to an ACSI score of 76.
After falling 3 percent last year, satisfaction with Microsoft now is stable at 77, according to ACSI. “The group of smaller software makers, which dipped 1 percent in 2019, takes another hit. This group, which includes Adobe, Norton, and TurboTax, plunges 3 percent to an ACSI score of 76.
Customer satisfaction with major household appliances – including washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, ranges/ovens, and over-the-oven microwaves – receded 2.5 percent to an all-time ACSI low of 79, falling below 80 for the first time.
Customer evaluations of quality dropped for the first time in four years, with service quality showing more deterioration than product quality.
While ACSI scores for the household appliance industry are consistently close, the field is particularly tight this year, with all manufacturers scoring within a two-point range, according to the researchers.
Last year’s leader LG slipped 2 percent, falling into a tie with a stable GE Appliances (Haier) at 80. In the laundry equipment segment, LG remains an industry leader for its paired washers and dryers for a third straight year.
Most competitors are deadlocked just below the leaders at 79, including the group of smaller appliance makers (down 2 percent), Bosch (down 1 percent), Electrolux (unchanged), and Whirlpool (down 1 percent). Bosch has been an industry leader in the dishwasher segment for three consecutive years.
Samsung sits alone in last place at 78, dropping 3 percent year over year.
Customer satisfaction with televisions and Blu-ray/DVD players faltered for the fourth consecutive year, retreating 2.4 percent to an ACSI score of 80.
TVs still rate among the top 10 industries tracked by the ACSI, yet satisfaction sits below the historic average of 83. Since hitting a high point of 87 in 2016, TVs have suffered a net loss of 8 percent in customer satisfaction. With prices coming down on large-screen models, however, and several new brands arriving in the U.S. market in 2020, the industry could reverse the trend.
The ACSI Household Appliance and Electronics Report 2019-2020 on personal computers, computer software, major household appliances, and televisions and Blu-ray/DVD players is based on interviews with 14,698 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between July 1, 2019, and June 14, 2020. Download the full report here.