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Google+ tops Facebook in customer satisfaction study

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While some reports claim that Google’s social network site is a “ghost town,” a new study suggest that users are more satisfied with Google+ than any other social service, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index E-Business Report. Facebook was the lowest-scoring e-business company and suffered the largest decline in customer satisfaction. The social networking giant plunged 8% to a score of 61 out of 100 possible points, in comparison to Google+’s 78 points. Facebook’s score set a new record-low in the Social Media category and was among the five lowest-scoring companies out of more than 230 measured.

“Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration. Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee. “It’s worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base. But I expect Google to leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change.” Read on for the ACSI’s press release.

Facebook Plummets; Google+ Strong in American Customer Satisfaction Index

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (July 17, 2012)—Facebook, already the lowest-scoring e-business company, suffers the largest decline in customer satisfaction according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report released today in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. The social media juggernaut plunges 8% to 61 on a 100-point scale, setting a new record-low score for the Social Media category and placing it among the five lowest-scoring companies of more than 230 measured by the ACSI.

As Facebook falls, cross-town rival Google+ does well with a score of 78 in its first appearance in the ACSI. According to the report, Google+’s strong showing is a result of an absence of traditional advertising and what is seen as a superior mobile product. Google+’s strengths may be Facebook’s weaknesses, as users complain about ads and privacy concerns. However, the most frequent complaints about Facebook are changes to its user interface, most recently the introduction of the Timeline feature.

“Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration. Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee. “It’s worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base. But I expect Google to leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change.”

The e-business sector overall drops 1.6% from a year ago to a score of 74.2, lower than the national ACSI score of 75.9.

“E-business websites used to be higher in customer satisfaction than most other categories covered by the ACSI, but their performance over the past three years suggests that they need to respond better to the changing needs and expectations of their customers,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and author of The Satisfied Customer. “Our research shows that customer satisfaction is critical for financial performance, as long as consumers have choice and repeat business is important.”

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