The results of the annual holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index from ForeSee are in for this year. The survey is compiled from 24,000 customer surveys gathered between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The results show that Apple has declined in rankings falling to a new four-year low for online customer satisfaction.
Apple lost three points falling from 83 points last year to 80 points this year. That might not seem like such a large drop, but the decline is said to be among the biggest ForeSee recorded this year. That decline also saw Apple slip to a four-year low.
Some mistakes made by Apple’s former head of retail operations, John Browett, are pointing to as part of the reason for the decline in satisfaction for Apple. Browett was the person that made the odd decision to freeze hiring at Apple Stores and scale back payroll expenses among other things. Other major retailers also saw significant declines in satisfaction including JCPenney.com, Dell.com, TigerDirect.com, and Autopartswarehouse.com.
All of those websites saw three points decrease in customer satisfaction this year except for JCPenney.com, which saw a five-point decrease. ForeSee says that website functionality is a top priority for improvement at Apple. However, functionality of the site is pretty much the same as it was last year when Apple was in the top five in the rankings.
“The luster of Apple is fading a bit,” Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee toldAllThingsD. “Keeping up with consumer’s rising expectations of the online customer experience is no easy task, but not keeping up can lead to decline in loyalty, word of mouth and revenue growth. In particular, even though Apple gets top dollar for their products, price is an area weakness for the company when it comes to satisfaction. Apple’s site might be due for some changes, and the usefulness, convenience and variety of features on the site presents the biggest opportunity for Apple to improve the customer experience.”