Best Customer Satisfaction? Once Again Amazon Tops the List

Ann Arbor, MI—Amazon has become the 800-pound gorilla in the retail world. And as the latest results from ForeSee, the customer analytics firm, show, consumers continue to be pleased by the Internet behemoth’s customer service.

In its eighth annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index released today and based upon some 24,000 customer surveys collected between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Amazon continues to rate “head of the class.”  This year’s report measures satisfaction among 100 retailers this year, up from 40 last year.

Aggregate customer satisfaction stagnates, scoring 78 on a 100-point scale. Though satisfaction with top retailers remains the same, a few big-name retailers suffered declines, including Apple and Dell. But the biggest year-over-year decline goes to JCPenney.com, with a 6% decline to 78.

“This year, we’re seeing that even some of the largest companies in the country are at risk if they lose sight of customer satisfaction,” said Larry Freed, ForeSee president/ceo. “Satisfaction with the customer experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of future success, and while Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their usual focus on the customer experience. Dell and JCPenney seem to be struggling to find their way, which could make them extremely vulnerable to competitors.”

‘Emulate’ Amazon

Meanwhile, Amazon.com continues to set the standard for customer satisfaction, matching the record high of 88 it set last year in the holiday edition of the Index. Amazon has had the highest scores in the Index for eight years in a row, consistently setting a pace that other retailers don’t seem to be able to touch. Their high score is partially because of the appeal and variety of merchandise they offer, a priority area for some other retailers.

“At this point, Amazon has been dominant for so long and has such a history of focusing on the customer, its hard to imagine anyone else coming close,” added Freed. “Companies should emulate Amazon’s focus on the customer, which is clearly linked to superior revenues over the years.”

The range of scores among the top 100 retailers spans from Amazon’s high of 88 to a score of 72 shared by Gilt.com and Fingerhut.com.

The Index shows that customer satisfaction does indeed matter, too.  Compared to shoppers who report being dissatisfied with a website, highly satisfied shoppers say they are 67% more likely to consider the company the next time they purchase a similar product. Satisfied shoppers also report being far more likely to return to the site, recommend it and stay loyal to the brand.

Furthermore, analysis of top e-retailers has shown that, on average, a one-point change in website satisfaction was found to predict a 14% change in the log of revenues generated on the web.” www.foreeresults.com

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