Apple Falls Behind Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony in New Consumer Experience Survey

Apple slipped behind Samsung, Sony and Microsoft in a 2014 customer experience survey from Forrester Research (via The Wall Street Journal). This is the third annual survey, and the first time Apple has fallen behind these rival companies.

The survey measures customer experience, which involves difficult-to-define criteria based on how a customer feels about his or her interaction with a company. Forrester queried 7,500 consumers about their retail and customer support experiences and used the responses to assign each company a customer-experience index score.

forrester-customer-experience-2014

Amazon scored highest among the 17 consumer-electronics manufacturers operating in North America. It was the only manufacturer to garner an “excellent” rating of 91 for Kindle customers.

Sony came in second with a rating of 83, while Microsoft and Samsung followed one point behind at 82. Apple scored an 81. All three brands rated below Apple in the 2013 survey.

Though it slipped behind the competition, Apple still improved its score in the 2014 survey and earned a "good" score according to the survey's criteria.

Apple has struggled somewhat with the continually increasing volume of customers visiting its retail stores for sales and support, particularly under the leadership of former retail chief John Browett. Browett was ousted as part of a management restructuring after spending just six months on the job, during which Apple's retail unit saw staff cutbacks and an emphasis on profits erode the customer experience and employee satisfaction. After nearly a year and a half without a retail chief, Apple will see Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts take the helm in the coming months to oversee both retail and online store operations.

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Top Rated Comments

TWSS37 Avatar
136 months ago
Glad this thread has held true to common MR protocol:

-Article praising Apple as the best: GO APPLE!!!!

-Article suggesting Apple being beat by competition: question the accuracy of the statistics.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vanilla35 Avatar
136 months ago
It's because of iOS7.

Maybe if:

1) The UI appealed to more people (the sterile extra flat design turns some people off - Google Android managed to produce a more exciting flat design)
2) The OS performed as well as the predecessor (although this is fixed in 7.1)

Not to mention how badly the iPad's software was/is performing (which is most of their market). They launched iOS for iPad while it still felt like a beta. Hell, my iPhone 5S still runs iOS7 like it's a beta. Crashes every once in a while and I still see bugs daily. Not happy buying the latest specs and still having the software run poorly.

On a side note, my local apple store smells like a Zoo everytime I go in there. The first time it happened I thought maybe some baby just peed everywhere. I've been in there 8+ times since (over the course of 2 years) and it smells the same every time. Disgusting
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
McTaste Avatar
136 months ago
This doesn't surprise me. Going to the Apple store is always a crowded mess. And the fact that employees seem to have narrow job descriptions means that there are generally a handful of them doing nothing while I wait for someone who can help me do something simple (ie exchange broken earbuds).

Compare this to Amazon, who doesn't have a physical presence but goes out of its way to make customers happy, and it makes sense that they are leading this survey.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
springsup Avatar
136 months ago
Steve was right when he said that people don't know what they want until you show them, but he could have gone further. Once people get what they want, few of them will actually make an effort to learn how to use what they purchased. This is why Apple's ratings are lower– because people project their inadequacies in product knowledge upon Apple, rather than themselves. Consumers blame Apple for the problems they have with their devices, when 95% (a trumped up percentage) of a user's problems arise from incomplete/incorrect product/technical knowledge. Don't blame Apple; make an effort to learn.

I fundamentally disagree. The first rule of sales is: the customer is always right.

If you need in-depth knowledge in advance of the product in order to use it, it's a poor product.

It may be unpopular to say, but I agree with this rating. Apple has fallen well behind the standards they set for themselves under SJ. There is definitely a new feeling about this new Apple, and it's not a positive change.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sky Blue Avatar
136 months ago
They've actually improved from last year, the other companies got better...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Renzatic Avatar
136 months ago
Dude. Windows 8 sucks. Who wouldn't question statistics that say Microsoft is doing well?

Because it's only on Apple messageboards where Microsoft is a dying company that isn't relevant anymore, and Android is a difficult to use OS that doesn't work half the time.

Out in the real world, Apple's just one of many high quality brands, and there are people out there who absolutely love their iPhone/Lumia/Galaxy phones.

...and are apparently beside themselves with pure, unmitigated joy over Amazon.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)