• January 28, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmarCustomerService.com

Apple Continues to Lead in Call Satisfaction, Sees Decline in Problem Resolution and IVR Satisfaction

Apple leads Dell and HP in customer satisfaction with technical support, but saw a decline in problem resolution rates and IVR satisfaction in the second half of 2010, according to the latest study on phone-based customer service quality conducted by Vocal Laboratories (Vocalabs). In telephone interviews conducted immediately following a tech support call, 60 percent of Apple customers said their problem was resolved on the call, down 7 percentage points from the first half of the year.

Satisfaction with the automated portion of the tech support call also declined among Apple customers, as measured by the “nuisance factor,” the percentage of customers who experienced any of three common service problems. Thirty-five percent of Apple customers interviewed in 2H 2010 reported they experienced IVR problems, irrelevant or repetitive steps, or difficulty reaching an agent, up from 21 percent in 2H 2009. During the same period, Dell improved IVR performance, with fewer customers complaining of service problems.

HP saw a 7 percentage point improvement in IVR satisfaction in 2H 2010, and sustained gains made in problem resolution in the first half of the year.

While Apple's customer service lead over Dell and HP narrowed in the second half of 2010, its customers remain the most satisfied among those surveyed. Sixty-six percent of Apple customers said they were “Very Satisfied” with the call, compared to 51 percent of HP customers and 49 percent of Dell customers.

The National Customer Service Survey (NCSS) compares customer service quality for different companies in the same industry, using survey data and call statistics from the companies' customers. The NCSS is underwritten and conducted by Vocalabs, independently of any of the companies covered. Current syndicated research covers computer technical support and mobile phone customer service. Results discussed here are based on 2,166 interviews conducted between July 2009 and December 2010.

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