Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Amazon remains at the head of the class in terms of customer service, according to the annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index released Thursday by customer experience analytics firm ForeSee.
The eighth annual report — based on more than 24,000 customer surveys collected between Thanksgiving and Christmas — expands from measuring satisfaction with 40 top retailers to 100 this year. Aggregate customer satisfaction stagnates, scoring 78 on a 100-point scale. Though satisfaction with top retailers remains the same, a few big-name retailers suffered declines.
Apple's online retail store slid 4% to 80, slipping from a tie for second place and out of the top five entirely, registering its lowest score in four years. The biggest year-over-year decline was JCPenney.com, with a 6% decline to 78.
"This year, we're seeing that even some of the largest companies in the country are at risk if they lose sight of customer satisfaction," said Larry Freed, ForeSee president and CEO. "Satisfaction with the customer experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of future success, and while Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their usual focus on the customer experience.”
Meanwhile, Amazon.com continues to set the standard for customer satisfaction, matching the record high of 88 it set last year in the holiday edition of the Index. Amazon has had the highest scores in the Index for eight years in a row, consistently setting a pace that other retailers don't seem to be able to touch. Their high score is partially because of the appeal and variety of merchandise they offer, a priority area for some other retailers.
"At this point, Amazon has been dominant for so long and has such a history of focusing on the customer, its hard to imagine anyone else coming close," added Freed. "Companies should emulate Amazon's focus on the customer, which is clearly linked to superior revenues over the years."