Desktop PCs Beat Laptops in User Satisfaction

Customers Aren’t Finished With PCs Yet, According to ACSI Data

Software improves, TV innovation takes a dip, and household appliances hold steady in the ACSI Household Appliances and Electronics Report 2018

(September 25, 2018) – PCs are alive and well. Customer satisfaction with personal computers—including desktops, laptops, and tablets—remains unchanged at 77 (on a 0 to 100 scale), according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI®) Household Appliances and Electronics Report 2018. This new stability is helped in no small part by the high customer satisfaction with desktop PCs.

Although just 17 percent of respondents recently purchased a desktop computer, customer satisfaction with them jumps 4 percent year over year to an ACSI score of 83. Tablets also climb 4 percent to 80, overtaking laptops, which rank as the only segment to deteriorate, down 3 percent to 75.

“Phones continue to supplant computers for web browsing, shopping, banking, and entertainment, but desktop computers are workhorses for gamers and business users,” said David VanAmburg, Managing Director at the ACSI. “These users make up a small but passionate corner of the PC market, choosing desktops for the power and functionality that phones, tablets, and even laptops still can’t match, according to our satisfaction data.”

Apple sees new challenge from Amazon in PC market satisfaction

Apple’s customer satisfaction score hasn’t changed in the last year, but it continues to lead all PC makers with an ACSI score of 83. Not surprisingly, demand for the company’s PCs remains: Apple’s second quarter PC shipments grew by 1.7 percent year over year.

Amazon leaps 4 percent year over year to 82, tying for second with Samsung, which remains unchanged. ASUS falls 3 percent to 78, tying it with HP, which is up 1 percent from the year before.

Lenovo inches up 1 percent to an ACSI score of 77, matching the industry average. Acer is right behind at 75, unchanged from a year ago.

Registering the largest drops among PC makers, Dell falls 4 percent to 73 and Toshiba plummets 5 percent to 71, its lowest mark to date. According to users, these manufacturers aren’t competing well on value. Although Dell’s desktop models are well liked, users are largely unimpressed with the company’s machine designs. Meanwhile, Toshiba users say the company’s models struggle with speed and reliability in terms of system crashes.

Most aspects of the PC industry have deteriorated in the eyes of its customers. Design slips 1 percent to 82. Accessories, software and apps, and graphics and sound all fall 1 percent to 80. Ease of operation held steady at 79, but an increase in the frequency of system crashes along with features losing some of their appeal, triggered drops in both these categories to 77. Processor speed also dips 3 percent to 76.

Important customer touch-points show considerable signs of strain. Website satisfaction retreats 5 percent to 78, and call centers, which made progress last year, completely reverse course, plummeting 14 percent to 67.

“It’s hard to pinpoint why customer satisfaction in call centers fell so much, but the PC industry’s increased emphasis on web and mobile as it scales back on call centers is a big piece,” said VanAmburg. “If you’re downsizing your operations, especially with anything related to customer service, you’re going to see a drop in satisfaction as wait times increase and it’s harder to get a person on the phone.”
Microsoft’s new approach to software updates is paying dividends

Customer satisfaction with software for desktops and laptops rose 1.3 percent to 79. Specifically, Microsoft climbs 4 percent to 79 on the strength of a successful Windows 10 upgrade cycle that favors smaller, more regular updates to improve user experience and remain innovative over rollouts of large new versions of Windows.

Microsoft’s user satisfaction now ranks even with the combined score of smaller software makers, including Adobe, Norton, Quicken and TurboTax.

About This Report

The ACSI Household Appliance and Electronics Report 2018 on personal computers, computer software, major household appliances, and televisions and DVD/Blu-ray players is based on interviews with 6,062 customers surveyed between September 6, 2017, and August 29, 2018.
About the American Customer Satisfaction Index

American Customer Satisfaction Index

American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the only national cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction in the United States. The Index measures the satisfaction of U.S. household consumers with the quality of products and services offered by both foreign and domestic firms with significant share in U.S. markets. The ACSI benefits business, researchers, policymakers, and consumers alike by serving as a national indicator of the health of the U.S. economy, as well as a tool for gauging the competitiveness of individual firms and predicting future profitability. Each year, roughly 300,000 customers are surveyed about the products and services they use the most. The survey data serve as inputs to an econometric model that benchmarks customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 46 industries and 10 economic sectors, as well as various services of federal and local government agencies.

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