Tablets drive customer satisfaction with traditional computers higher
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Tablets drive customer satisfaction with traditional computers higher

According to a new report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)l the personal computer division in the Index rated an all time score of 80 out of 100. Could it be due to the fact that more folks are buying Macs? Perhaps. But the iPad also plays a part.

As the personal computer market continues to undergo its transformation toward smaller, more mobile computing and away from stationary desktop solutions, customer satisfaction with the personal computer industry as a whole gains further traction -- up 2.6% to an all-time high ACSI score of 80.

The improvement over the past year blasts away the industry’s former high point of 78 that was earned in both 2010 and 2011. ACSI measurement of the industry includes customer satisfaction with all types of personal computers: desktops, laptops and tablets.

"The recent stall in demand for desktop computers comes in conjunction with a surge of interest in small, mobile computers; in particular, devices that are ultra-thin or lightweight," says Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and author of "The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference." "The current ACSI uptick for the industry at large is driven, in part, by the higher levels of customer satisfaction that tablets enjoy over desktops and laptops. As tablets gain market share, overall customer satisfaction with the computer industry picks up."

Apple continues to keep the rest of the industry at bay, but its lead is somewhat smaller due to an across-the-board customer satisfaction increase for Windows-based computers. Apple slips 1% to 86, a score that continues to outpace competitors by a wide gap of 5-9 points. While the market’s shift away from traditional computers benefits Apple and its iPad product line, the rest of the industry seems to be doing a better job of pleasing the customers that they're keeping.

"What may be occurring is that the defection of the least satisfied customers of traditional PC brands such as Dell, HP and Acer to Apple and other smaller tablet makers actually may be boosting customer satisfaction for all," says Fornell. "The companies that lose market share will maintain their most loyal and happy customers, while those who migrate to other companies in search of new products are more pleased as well."

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. The ACSI uses data from interviews with roughly 70,000 customers annually as inputs to an econometric model for measuring satisfaction with more than 230 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors, as well as over 100 services, programs, and websites of federal government agencies. For more info go to .

-- Dennis Sellers

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