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May 21, 2013

Press Release National ACSI Q1 2013

Customer Satisfaction Edges Up Due to Improvements in Information Sector

ANN ARBOR, Mich., (May 21, 2013) – The national customer satisfaction benchmark shows modest improvement for the first quarter of 2013, continuing to chart an upward course that began in 2011, according to a report released today by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Aggregate customer satisfaction is up 0.4% to 76.6 on a 0 to 100 scale, pushed by gains across the Information sector, along with energy utilities and health care (reported by the ACSI in April).

“Weak consumer demand is what’s keeping economic recovery from taking hold,” says Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and Chairman. “Because repeat purchases are a big part of total consumer spending, customer satisfaction is essential for spurring consumer demand. Although ACSI has been on the rise for nearly two years, there is another force putting downward pressure on demand: weak cash flow to U.S. households. Corporations sit on cash, households don’t. Unless wages and employment begin to move in the same direction as customer satisfaction, it is difficult to see a great deal of economic growth in the near future.”

In addition to the quarterly national ACSI score, the ACSI’s May report covers six industries: cellular telephones, computer software, fixed-line and wireless telephone service, subscription television service, and the newly added Internet service providers. Customer satisfaction gains dominate the Information sector, with four industries improving 2.7% to 5.7% compared with a year ago. The majority of companies (64%) post higher customer satisfaction benchmarks in 2013.

The ACSI’s May 2013 report introduces an array of new measures that encompass key elements of the customer experience specific to individual industries. For each industry, the ACSI measures 8 to 10 customer experience benchmarks, including call center and website satisfaction, service reliability, and factors such as HD picture quality for subscription TV service or battery life for cell phones.

This press release is also available in PDF format.

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