These days, it’s not often that you hear anyone outdoing search giant Google on any playing field, but a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report has seen Yahoo! take top honors in terms of customer satisfaction.
Released last week by the University of Michigan, the American Customer Satisfaction Index e-business survey details the satisfaction level of consumers across a category that covers search engines, online news, e-commerce and portals, based on the feedback of 70,000 customers.
Yahoo! gained 3 points on their 2006 score to take the top spot in the category with a rating of 79 out of 100. Considering the turmoil that Yahoo! has faced over the past few months, both shareholders and Yahoo! execs will be hoping this accolade marks a change of fortune.
For Google, a 3 point drop to 78 represents the lowest ACSI score they’ve received since the survey started in 2000. Their declining rating echoes an ever growing chorus of discontent from their devoted users. Not expect panic at the Googleplex, as they still stand well above many of their competitors.
Ask.com had a stellar result with a 4 point increase to 75 this year. This is a remarkable effort considering the survey was conducted before the much applauded launch of Ask3D, and even better given that the whole category experienced an overall decline of 1.3 points – the first decline in the category so far.
AOL was the biggest loser this year shedding a remarkable 7 points. With AOL trailing Google in search, Yahoo! in the portal stakes and struggling on many other fronts, there’ll be some serious discussions in the AOL board room.
The ACSI survey highlights that while customer satisfaction is relatively strong in the category, the big industry players run the risk of losing favor if they don’t continue to listen to their users and maintain a customer-centric approach to privacy, development and innovation.