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National Customer Service Survey: Computer Tech Support 2010

This study from Vocalabs compares customer service quality for Apple, Dell, and HP technical support. Apple continues to dominate in customer satisfaction, and widened its lead over Dell and HP in critical areas.

 

About This Study

The National Customer Service Survey compares the customer service quality for different companies in the same industry, using survey data and call statistics from the companies’ customers. As part of this ongoing research, we interview customers of competing companies immediately after a customer service call.

 

About This Release

The data in this report is based on 2,112 completed telephone interviews conducted between January 2009 and June 2010. We collected enough data on Apple, Dell, and HP to make direct comparisons of the three companies’ support effectiveness.

 

Methodology

Consumers were recruited online to participate in this study, and called an alternate toll-free phone number for technical support. This alternate number forwarded to the company’s published technical support phone number and allowed Vocalabs to track the progress of each call. Selected participants were called back immediately after the end of the support call and interviewed about their experience. The full data set, including survey responses and interview recordings, is available on a syndicated basis.

 

Summary of Key Findings

  • Apple continues to dominate in customer satisfaction with phone-based tech support, and widened its lead over HP and Dell across critical metrics, including:
    • Eight percentage point improvement in overall satisfaction – 66% of Apple customers interviewed in 1H 2010 reported they were "Very Satisfied” with the company, compared to 58% in 2H 2009.
    • Eight percentage point improvement in call satisfaction – 73% of Apple customers interviewed 1H 2010 said they were "Very Satisfied” with the call, up from 65% in 2H 2009.
    • Six percentage point improvement in agent satisfaction – 82% of Apple customers interviewed in 1H 2010 said they were "Very Satisfied” with the agent, compared to 76% in 2H 2009.
  • HP made dramatic improvements in problem resolution and wait times, while sustaining customer service quality gains made in 2H 2009.
    • In 2H 2009, HP saw a 7 percentage point improvement in overall call satisfaction, and an 8 percentage point improvement in agent satisfaction from 1H 2009 levels. HP sustained these satisfaction gains in 1H 2010.
    • In 1H 2010, 52% of HP customers said their problem was resolved on the call, up 8 percentage points from 2H 2009. Ninety-three percent of HP customers said the wait time to speak to an agent was acceptable, up 9 percentage points.
  • Tech support call satisfaction and agent satisfaction strongly impact a customer’s willingness to repurchase and to recommend.
    • Customers who said they were “Very Satisfied” with the call are 4 times as likely to repurchase again from the company and 4 times as likely to recommend the company than customers who were dissatis?ed with the call.
    • Customers who said they were “Very Satisfied” with the agent are 3 times as likely to repurchase again and 4 times as likely to recommend the company than customers who said they were dissatisfied with the agent.
  • Problem resolution has greatest impact on customer satisfaction with the call and agent.
    • Factors that have the greatest impact on call and agent satisfaction are whether the customer felt there were irrelevant or repetitive steps on the call, whether the agent was willing to transfer to a supervisor, and, most importantly, whether the customer’s problem was resolved on the call.

Apple's Service Advantage

 

Call Satisfaction and Business Outcomes

Of the 955 customers surveyed during 1H 2010, 74% said they intended to purchase from the company again in the future. The same percentage of customers surveyed said they would recommend the Company to a friend or colleague. Fifty-three percent of all respondents said they were very satis?ed with the company overall.

Business Outcome Metrics

We found that customer satisfaction with the call, agent and automated system had a significant impact on intent to repurchase, willingness to recommend, and on overall satisfaction with the company. Customer satisfaction with the call had the greatest impact on business outcomes. Eighty-two percent of customers who said they were “Very Satisfied” with the call said they were “Very Satisfied” with the company, compared to just 5% of those who reported they were dissatisfied with the call. Ninety-one percent of customers who were “Very Satisfied” with the call said they would repurchase from the company, compared to 26% of customers who were dissatisfied with the call.

Customers who were “Very Satisfied” with the agent were 3x as likely to repurchase than customers who were dissatisfied with the agent. Those who said they were “Very Satisfied” with the automated portion of the call were twice as likely to repurchase than those who were dissatisfied.

Impact of Call Satisfaction on Overall Satisfaction

Impact of Call Satisfaction on Intent to Repurchase

 

Technical Support Trends: Apple vs. Dell vs. HP

This executive summary presents results of 18 months of continuous survey data for The National Customer Service Survey for Technical Support. The survey measures customers’ perceptions of the quality of the technical support they receive from Apple, Dell, and HP.

Two key trends emerged from surveys conducted during the ?rst half of 2010. Apple widened its lead over Dell and HP across several key customer service metrics. During the period, HP made signi? cant improvements in problem resolution and wait times, while sustaining gains in call and agent satisfaction made during the second half of 2009.

 

Business Outcomes

Apple has historically had a reputation for a high level of customer service and satisfaction, and that reputation was borne out once again by our survey results. Apple beat both Dell and HP in nearly every major customer service metric in our survey including company satisfaction, intent to repurchase, likelihood to recommend, call satisfaction, agent satisfaction, and problem resolution.

In the first half of 2010, Apple’s lead over Dell and HP widened across several of these metrics. Gains for Apple for key business outcome metrics included:

  • Eight percentage point improvement in overall satisfaction. Sixty-six perfect of Apple customers interviewed in 1H 2010 reported they were “Very Satisfied” with the company, compared to 58% in 2H 2009.
  • Four percentage point improvement in likelihood to repurchase. Eighty-four percent of Apple customers interviewed in 1H 2010 said they would purchase again from the company, compared to 80% of those interviewed in 2H 2009.

None of the companies saw a meaningful change in customers’ willingness to recommend during the ?rst half of 2010. (Note: this question was added to the NCSS survey in July 2009.)

Overall Satisfaction

Likelihood to Repurchase

Willingness to Recommend

To read the rest of this white paper in pdf format, click here.

This content was provided by Vocalabs. Visit their website at www.vocalabs.com/greenbook.

Company profile

Vocalabs

Vocalabs

Golden Valley, Minnesota, United States of America
Telephone:
(952) 941-6580
Email:
inquiry@vocalabs.com
Website:
www.vocalabs.com/greenbook
About Vocalabs:
Ongoing customer experience measurement: real-time voice of the customer programs | customer satisfaction surveys | competitive benchmarking

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