Thursday, August 21, 2008

Google’s Satisfaction Soars Propelling E-Business to an All-Time High in Latest American Customer Satisfaction Index

Customer satisfaction with e-business websites reaches a new high, according to the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) second quarter report. The annual e-business report measures customer satisfaction with search engines, portals and online news and information sites. Overall, the e-business sector climbs an impressive 6% to a score of 79.3 on ACSI’s 100-point scale.

After a slip last year, Google soars 10% in 2008 to resume the top spot for portals and search engines. Google’s score of 86 is one of the highest for any service company in all of ACSI. In recent years, Google has continued its successful transformation from a search engine to a full-service portal. Google added features like email, chat, maps, and news while maintaining its highly functional search engine brand.

After a promising rise in 2007, Yahoo falls 3% to 77 amid distractions from merger overtures from Microsoft. Instead of focusing on the consumer experience, Yahoo’s energies were tied up fighting off a hostile takeover bid in an effort to preserve its legacy and independence. In that time, Yahoo lost several key managers and consumer perceptions may have been adversely affected by extensive negative press surrounding the merger.

Microsoft’s MSN remains unchanged at 75. Unable to increase market share, MSN resorted to prize giveaways that did nothing to drive traffic or satisfaction. So the company decided to put its resources into acquiring a rival in hopes that the combination could finally threaten Google’s supremacy. slips 1% to 74, just a point below MSN. While the search market is clearly dominated by one superpower, shows promising signs. is the most improved of the companies primarily focused on search, surging 19% since it was first measured in 2002. The company committed to a customer-centric, long-term development plan and remains focused by adding features aimed to increase user privacy positioning the company for future growth.

AOL registers a disappointing satisfaction score of 69, despite a 3% increase. With a score that is 17 points below Google's and eight points behind closest portal competitor Yahoo, AOL grapples to compete on any front.

In addition to measuring portals and search engines, the annual e-business report also measures news and information sites including (76), (75), (75), (73), and (73). In aggregate, the news and information category is unchanged at 75, and while some sites have increased a point or two, satisfaction remains essentially at parity with a spread of only 3 points between top and bottom performers in the category.

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