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Apple Leads in Customer Satisfaction Survey, Despite Slip

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has released customer satisfaction scores for a number of consumer product sectors including personal computers. While Apple still ranks well above its competitors, its rating slipped a point compared to a year ago.

The ACSI rates different industries each calendar quarter, and for the second calendar quarter of the year, it ranks personal computer satisfaction. The ratings rank Apple and several other personal computer manufacturers including Dell, Compaq, Gateway/Acer, and HP.

Apple ranked number one, with a rating of 84 (based on a scale of 0 to 100). Dell came in second at 75, while the others included on the poll came in at 74. Apple's rating dropped 1.2 percent from 2008, from 85 to 84, while Dell remained steady at 75. Other companies improved, 5.7 percent for Compaq, 2.8 percent for Gateway/Acer and 1.4 percent for HP.

Commenting on the numbers, Professor Claes Fornell explained that despite the slip, Apple's customer satisfaction lead is the second largest of any industry the ACSI tracks (Southwest Airlines has a larger advantage than Apple over its closest rival).

"Apple's success has been a result of innovation, integration of products, customer service and good marketing," wrote Fornell.

ACSI scores are produced from on a complex set of equations that link customer expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value. Randomly chosen adults are polled by telephone with questions about their use of specific products.

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