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Dell’s Customer Satisfaction Rate Improves

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Amidst all the turmoil surrounding Dell last week, the company received a bit of good news from The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) generated by the University of Michigan.

The ASCI’s most recent study found that Dell’s overall customer satisfaction increased 5.4 percent last quarter to 78 percent. The up-tick is likely due to the new customer service initiatives Dell has put into place, but the money spent trying to improve this aspect of the company’s business is causing other problems.

“It can be difficult to combine a cost efficiency strategy with superior customer service, but Dell’s early results are headed in the right direction,” said Professor Claes Fornell, head of the ACSI at the University of Michigan. “Short-term profits are almost always adversely affected when a company invests heavily in improved customer service. For Dell, the key will be sales growth, but not necessarily short-term profit growth.”

Dell’s fiscal second quarter financial report last week followed Fornell’s theory with the company showing about half the net profit it made during the same period in 2005, along with a 5 percent increase in total sales.

Customer satisfaction in the PC industry paced Dell’s, rising 4 percent to 78 percent, the industry’s highest score since 1994.