You can say what you will about marketshare, but when it comes to consumer satisfaction, Apple is consistently ranked second to none.
For the 8th straight year, Apple has toped the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) with respect to the personal computer industry and even garnered an all-time high in the process.
Apple’s record of customer satisfaction preeminence in the personal computer industry continues unabated in 2011, as the company adds another point to its already exceptional score. At 87 (+1%), Apple outdistances its nearest competitor by 9 points.
Among Windows-based PC makers, not much has changed over the past year. The two Hewlett-Packard brands—Compaq and HP—see only incremental gains (+1%) in 2011. At 78, HP outperforms last-place Compaq at 75, and customer satisfaction for both brands is higher now than at any time since the HP-Compaq merger in 2002. But HP’s market share is increasingly threatened by tablet computers, and the company may soon abandon the PC market altogether. Dell, Acer and the aggregate of all other brands (such as Toshiba, Lenovo and Sony) are sandwiched in between the two HP product lines, with no progress this year as evidenced by unchanged ACSI scores of 77.
Unfortunately for Apple’s competitors, customer satisfaction isn’t something you can throw money at in the hopes of emulating Apple. Rather, it’s the result of hard work and a genuine appreciation and respect for the consumer. Steve Jobs has famously said that Apple builds products that they themselves would like to use. More often than not, competitors build products and sacrifice the user experience for a quick buck.