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Customer Satisfaction Tops For CE

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Consumer electronics scored highest in
customer satisfaction for the second consecutive year among 47 industries tracked
by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

CE, specifically TVs and Blu-ray Disc players, scored a
chart-topping 85 on the index’s 0- to 100-point scale, unchanged from last
year, thanks to consumer perceptions of high-quality and price cuts on panels
and BD players, ACSI’s latest consumer surveys show.

CE has been a longtime leader in customer satisfaction,
according to the research group, which measures customer contentment with more
than 225 companies in 47 industries based on interviews with 70,000 consumers

“Customers are upgrading to TVs that provide better picture
quality, more features and save space, while the BD format is becoming more widely
available and affordable,” said ACSI founder Claes Fornell.  “Clearly, customers are pleased with what this
industry has to offer them.”

In contrast, major appliances slipped 1.2 percent to score
an 81 on the index, which ACSI still considers a solid grade. Each of the
industry’s three largest players saw some slippage in customer satisfaction, although
the change for Whirlpool was minimal (-1 percent), which helped it solidify its
lead over GE and Electrolux.

While Whirlpool’s current score of 82 is not its best over
time, the company has been much more consistent over the past three years than
GE, whose customer satisfaction scores have been more volatile and dropped 3
percent this year to 79. Electrolux also trails Whirlpool and slipped 1 percent
to 78, the lowest score for the manufacturer since its inclusion in ACSI in 2006.

Small majap makers fared better. The aggregation of “all
other” appliance companies, including the Kenmore brand, gained 3 percent to an
industry-leading score of 83, which was the highest level ever measured for the

Apple continues to lead the PC side of the survey. The home
of the iPad, iPhone and Mac OS computers earned a score of 87 in 2011, up 1
point from 2010. However, it is nine points ahead of its closest competitor,

ACSI noted that Apple has dominated its category for the
past eight years and during that time the company’s stock prices has grown
2,300 percent.

Overall customer satisfaction in the PC category was stagnant
with an overall score of 78. The HP brand along with its Compaq sub-brand each
gained one point in the survey, landing at 78 and 75 respectively. The customer
satisfaction scores of Toshiba, Lenovo and Sony remained unchanged in 2011 at

The satisfaction scores have proven to be strongly related
to a number of key micro and macroeconomic indicators, ACSI said, including
corporate earnings, stock returns, consumer spending, and gross domestic
product growth. The index was developed at the University of Michigan’s Ross
School of Business.