Apple’s Lead in Tech Support Quality Slipping in Consumer Survey, HP Steadily Improving

Vocalabs' Study Shows Customers Reporting Problems With Automated Portion of Apple Tech Support Calls

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (August 2, 2011) – Apple continues to lead Dell and HP in customer service quality for phone-based technical support, but customers are reporting more problems with the automated part of the call, according to the latest study conducted by Vocal Laboratories Inc. (Vocalabs). In telephone interviews immediately following a support call, 58% of Apple customers were “Very Satisfied” with the experience during the first six months of 2011, compared to 47% of Dell customers and 53% of HP customers. Apple's satisfaction score is down 15 points from a year ago, while HP has improved nine points over the past two years.

Customers remain highly satisfied with Apple’s support agents, with 77% of customers in the first six months of this year being “Very Satisfied” with the technician; as compared to 56% of Dell customers and 61% of HP customers. The automated part of the call is a different story, however, with only 24% of Apple customers being “Very Satisfied” with that part of the experience, trailing Dell’s 36% and HP’s 40%. In this survey period, 40% of Apple customers reported a problem with the automated part of the call, nearly double the 21% rate from a year ago.

Customers remain highly satisfied with Apple’s support agents, with 77% of customers in the first six months of this year being “Very Satisfied” with the technician; as compared to 56% of Dell customers and 61% of HP customers. The automated part of the call is a different story, however, with only 24% of Apple customers being “Very Satisfied” with that part of the experience, trailing Dell’s 36% and HP’s 40%. In this survey period, 40% of Apple customers reported a problem with the automated part of the call, nearly double the 21% rate from a year ago.

“Apple used to be well ahead of the pack in tech support,” said Peter Leppik, CEO of Vocalabs. “Now it would be fair to say that they are merely at the front of the pack. Apple used to lead on nearly every metric for support quality. Now there are several metrics where Apple is tied with its competition, or even trails.”

About This Research

The National Customer Service Survey (NCSS) tracks customer service quality in several industries, using telephone interviews conducted with a customer immediately after a customer service experience. Statistics in this press release are based on 4,161 surveys completed between May 2008 and June 2011. The NCSS is underwritten and conducted by Vocalabs, independently of any of the companies covered.

Download the Executive Summary by visiting www.Vocalabs.com/Press. To subscribe to the full data set, contact Vocalabs at inquiry@vocalabs.com, 952-941-6580, ext. 201.

About Vocalabs

Vocalabs uncovers the “Ahas.” We combine customer feedback expertise with our advanced technology platform to find ways to improve the customer experience. Vocalabs makes a powerful difference for our clients, including communications providers, financial services companies, healthcare, industry consultants, and equipment vendors. Learn more at www.vocalabs.com.

Contact: Peter Leppik, Vocalabs, pleppik@vocalabs.com, 952-941-6580, ext. 201.