American Customer Satisfaction Drops

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) dropped again for the second consecutive quarter to 74.9. Why does this matter? “When customer satisfaction declines, consumers have less enthusiasm for repeating experiences that no longer provide the same gratification,” says Professor Claes Fornell. AKA, they’ll be spending less money.

Customer Satisfaction Falls Again; Retail, Financial Services Down; Wal-mart, Home Depot at All-Time Lows [ACSI]


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  1. nequam says:

    Still looks like a pretty nice upward trend. I mean, it hasn’t been higher than 74.9 in 13 years. Look at 1997.

  2. ARP says:

    Is there any correlation between Customer Satisfaction and actual performance of the economy? I guess what I mean is, people may be unhappy with customer service, but that doesn’t necessarily stop them from shopping, buying, etc. in the same quantity. I’d assume there is some impact, but you never know.

  3. humphrmi says:

    I’m confused. So does that mean that consumers are more apt to engage in “un-gratifying” experiences if the index is higher? Or are we less willing to purchase overall because we’re ungratified?

  4. ARP says:

    @nequam: True. But I wonder if our expections have been slowly declining so that we’re now estatic for something that used to piss us off. I assume they can’t correct for something so subjective.

    Example: I would freak out (in a good way) if I called a customer service number and a live person with good english skills answered the phone in a few rings. 10 years ago, we EXPECTED that. Anything less would be disappointing.

  5. kidnextdoor says:

    Might be sorta nice if we could click to enlarge the graph. My 15 incher isn’t big enough.

  6. Thorny says:

    Big deal. A couple ticks down yet still higher than all but two (the previous two) points on the chart. I’d expect Consumerist to be a little bit less “5 o’clock news” than this.

  7. ghettoimp says:

    What does this index measure? How are the points calculated? Is a tiny difference like this meaningful or just statistical noise? The bottom 70 points have been cut off to make the swing look larger in the picture. This article is useless :(

  8. ibanix says:

    Agree with ghettoimp. Context necessary.

  9. timmus says:

    If that sucker drops another two points from 74.8 to 74.6%, that’s it man. Game over man, game over!

  10. Thorny says:

    My customer satisfaction dropped when my previous comment on this article was censored.

  11. kittenfoo says:

    I’m sorry, but my first inclination was to laugh at this graphic. It’s vague enough it could be used in a variety of ways. For example, change the scale on the y-axis, and you have a fairly close track of my weight over the past 15 years.

  12. Moosehawk says:

    Can’t really get any information from that drop, looks about the same size so far as any of the others.

    Besides, maybe people are getting pissier or dumber?

  13. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Personally, I feel pretty satisfied.

  14. rbb says:

    Oh my goodness the sky is falling! The sky is falling. The ACSI dropped to its fourth or fifth highest level since 1994. Never mind that its level is still higher than 49 out of the last 55+ periods. This is a non-event.

  15. Beerad says:

    I blame Steve Earle. He ain’t never satisfied.

  16. athena01 says:

    ARP: If they’re trying to measure customer satisfaction, shouldn’t it be given customers’ current expectations? If we want to see what customer satisfaction would be given our expectations from, say, 20 years ago, that would be a different question. And that would certainly be less closely related to our current spending habits.

    PS If you want to find out more about the methodology, a poke around their website is helpful :) ([])

  17. azntg says:

    @ARP: All a good point!

  18. mthrndr says:

    @kidnextdoor: that’s what she said.

  19. mthrndr says:

    @AlteredBeast: That’s what she said.