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Social Media, Search Engine Satisfaction Declines

25 Jul, 2012 By: Doug McPherson


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Dissatisfaction is rising slightly among consumers with online businesses. According to a report out last week, satisfaction with search engines, social media and new and information sites fell 1.6 percent to 74.2 on what’s called the “American Customer Satisfaction Index 100-point scale,” which is put out by ForeSee, an analytics company.

As for the top three search engines, only two points separate them: Google leads at 82; Microsoft Bing is second with 81; and Ask.com is third with 80, after a seven-point gain in the past year. MSN and Yahoo tie with 80 points, respectively, and AOL follows with 74.

Social media’s score fell one point to 69, making that category one of the lowest-scoring measured by the index. Just three of 47 industries underperform social media: subscription TV services at 66, print newspapers at 65 and airlines at 65.

Wikipedia’s score of 78 led the social media category this year, same as last year. It tied this year, however, for the top spot with newcomer Google+. One analyst said that if Google keeps the score, the social site could become a formidable competitor to Facebook.

Along with Google+, three other social media sites joined the e-Business category: Pinterest at 69, Twitter at 64 and LinkedIn at 63.

Facebook measured the largest drop in the E-business category for 2012. Its 61 is the lowest-scoring social media site measured individually in the report, dropping 8 points in customer satisfaction compared with 2011. Nearly 20 percent of Facebook users say ads often interfered with their experience. Others say they believe Facebook makes unnecessary changes to its site.

The index also found that customers believe Google+ respects their privacy more than Facebook. When asked to rate the site’s commitment, only 18 percent of Facebook users rate Facebook’s commitment to their privacy as excellent, while 42 percent of Google+ users rate Google’s commitment to their privacy as excellent.

Larry Freed, president and CEO at ForeSee, says that, in the long term, declining customer satisfaction could impact a company’s growth and where marketers put their cash.

Other findings:

  • 55 percent of Bing users liked its ease of use.
  • 54 percent said they conduct between 76 percent and 100 percent of their searches on Bing in a typical week, compared with 51 percent on Google.
  • Only three of 16 companies slightly increased their satisfaction scores. All are from the News & Information category. FoxNews.com had the largest gain: 2 points to 84. CNN.com and NYTimes.com both registered small increases to 75 and 74, respectively.

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