Google Still King of Customer Satisfaction According to Latest American Customer Satisfaction Index

E-Business customer satisfaction climbs to new highs, but news and information sites struggle, says ForeSee Results

ANN ARBOR, MI, AUGUST 18, 2009 —

Google maintains its position on top of the search engine and portal industry, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).  Google scores 86 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale for a second year in a row, nine points higher than its nearest competitor, Yahoo! (77).  The annual e-business report, released today by the University of Michigan measures customers’ satisfaction with portals, search engines, and news and information websites.  The e-business sector overall is up 2.8% to a score of 81.5, another new high for a sector that has slipped only once since it was first measured in 2000.

“Google is unquestionably king of search, so the only competition is for second place,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results.  “The research was done before Bing entered the market, so we don’t know what effect its entry will have. But Google’s customers are pretty happy and have little reason to try something new, so Bing has a real uphill battle ahead.”

For portals and search engines, AOL is the only individual site measured that sees an increase in online customer satisfaction, while Google, Yahoo, MSN, and all maintain the previous year’s satisfaction levels. However, AOL’s 1% climb to a score of 70  is not enough to keep AOL out of the bottom slot.

Satisfaction with the online news and information industry decreases 1.3% to a score of 74. (up 1% to 74) is the only website in the category to experience a bump in satisfaction, while (-5% to 71) hits a record low.

”With a number of major newspapers shifting operations online, it’s surprising that news and information websites have not seized the opportunity to provide customers with the quality of news they’ve come to expect,” said Freed. “Online customer satisfaction has a proven impact on reader loyalty and therefore on advertising revenues, and the battered industry needs any help it can get .”

About ForeSee Results
As the leader in online customer satisfaction measurement, ForeSee Results captures and analyzes online voice of customer data to help organizations increase sales, loyalty, recommendations and website value. Using the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ForeSee Results identifies the improvements to websites and other online initiatives with the greatest ROI. With over 37 million survey responses collected to date and benchmarks across dozens of industries, ForeSee Results offers unparalleled expertise in customer satisfaction measurement and management particularly in the e-retail category, with over 85 retail measures in ForeSee benchmarks.

About the ACSI
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the only uniform, national, cross-industry measure of satisfaction with the quality of goods and services available in the United States. A key distinguishing feature of the ACSI methodology is its patented scientific approach to customer satisfaction measurement. The technology behind the ACSI computes scores that reflect performance—based on the relative impacts of various components of satisfaction on overall satisfaction and the likelihood of desirable future behaviors, such as repeat purchases. Accordingly, the ACSI methodology is able to isolate and determine the importance of the features and functions most likely to produce these behaviors—an important distinction from basic customer satisfaction ratings.