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  • Apple's Industry-Leading Tech Support Satisfaction Declines


    According to a new study that was recently released, Apple’s phone-based tech support continues to remain the best in the industry but complains regarding wait times and call automation have caused a decline in customer satisfaction. The results are based on data from an ongoing study conducted by Vocalabs and show the quality of Apple’s phone support has declined substantially over the past year and a half. Apparently, it’s slowly sinking to reported levels of its competitors, no longer providing superior support.

    The study was conducted as part of the research firm’s National Customer Service Survey, where 4,852 customers were interviewed between May 2008 and December 2011, each being polled on various service quality metrics regarding tech support calls to Apple, Dell, and HP. According to Peter U. Leppik, President and CEO of Vocalabs, “Apple was far and away the leader in technical support quality” but “in the end of 2011, the company slipped to merely [being] ahead of its competition in certain metrics, and with a downward trend. If this trend continues, Apple could even be trailing in support quality by the end of 2012.”

    The company, which reached a peak in early 2010 has shown a 19% decline of customers who were “very satisfied” with their call, compared to the 5% and 2% drops in call satisfaction from Dell and HP respectively. The problem resolution aspect is also on the decline as the Mac maker showed a 17 point drop in problems solved over the phone, ultimately leaving one out of every two issues unresolved. The results bring Apple down to being within four points of Dell’s 46% rate of problem resolution and three points of HP’s 47%. Furthermore, in some cases, Apple has even been surpassed by its competitors, as in the 20 point increase in customers who didn’t experience problems with the company’s interactive voice response system.

    Overall, the Cupertino California company has seen a drop in almost every surveyed area over the past 18 months, including the likelihood to repurchase, agent satisfaction, reaching an agent, as well as a rise in customers who noted problems with Apple’s call automation and wait time. The results are in no way signifying the death of Apple support as the company remains the industry leader in offering a satisfying problem resolution experience.

    Source: Vocalabs
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's Industry-Leading Tech Support Satisfaction Declines started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      As I said before, it is time to abandon investments in Apple. The death of customer service will be the death of Apple. With Steve Jobs gone, Apple really is just another tech company.

      Plus, with Apple hiring B-players, and with most of the original staff gone, Apple is headed for the pits.

      Come on guys, now isn't the time to be a fanboy with your money. I'll bet that you all have that gnawing feeling inside, agreeing with me.

      In the end it's your choice.

      SELL YOUR STOCKS
    1. Ambi_Valence's Avatar
      Ambi_Valence -
      Nope. I don't. I feel it's temporary due to the massive increase in sales. Yep, they took their eye of the ball but they'll be looking at it again soon.
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      I have always heard about the other companies referenced in this article that their excuse is that if you want rock bottom prices you get the bottom of the rock tech support. Thats how they get their prices so low. But Apple products are not cheap and are almost never on sale. This site's recent articles have reported Apples's record setting sales. Tim Cooks outrageous payout of $380,000,000 plus dollars. Doubling their market share on phones. Apple has come full circle from their 80's commercial. Maybe put some of those millions into better support. How hard is it to do tech support for Apple anyway at the Genius bar. Ask a few questions, maybe reload software, and more likely walk in back room and grab a refurbished phone. If you frequent this site you know walking in that the first to options are a waste of your time and lets get to the back room buddy and grab me another phone.
    1. high_elf's Avatar
      high_elf -
      Ok, so I'm under a NDA so I can't say much.

      All that I'm saying, is that calling in and going "oh god it's a robot, representative!" "I need a real person, i don't want to talk to you" and just saying iphone over and over again isn't going to get you anywhere.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      As I said before, it is time to abandon investments in Apple. The death of customer service will be the death of Apple. With Steve Jobs gone, Apple really is just another tech company.

      Plus, with Apple hiring B-players, and with most of the original staff gone, Apple is headed for the pits.

      Come on guys, now isn't the time to be a fanboy with your money. I'll bet that you all have that gnawing feeling inside, agreeing with me.

      In the end it's your choice.

      SELL YOUR STOCKS
      Except Jobs died a few months ago and this has been happening for a year and a half.
    1. Forgoten Dynasty's Avatar
      Forgoten Dynasty -
      Went to the apple store about a month ago brought a keyboard and a magic mouse which were both having spotty connections. Both items where clearly way out of warrantee. Both were replaced with no questions asked. Could not have been happier.
    1. Meglomaniac's Avatar
      Meglomaniac -
      well i see some obvious signs starting for example the apple tv update that bricked almost every apple tv out there and ppl had to actually buy a micro usb cable to restore it.
      Now this last update to lion 10.7.3 and all the issues it brought which is strange if you take in consideration the amount of time it was in beta.
      And having experienced myself a scripted answer to my questions submitted to apple tech support and the answer was a scripted answer on a keyword of my question and did not even remotely looked like it represented an answer to my actually question.

      i do see a downwards spiral in the quality and support that ones was.
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      I would hate to do customer service for apple. Just reading the level of entitlement on forums alone let's me know that dealing with some of these people would get old very fast.

      I've never had a problem with their customer service, needed my scratched iPhone camera lens replaced, done in 20 minutes without issue. Then again, I've never had issue with any customer service ever, so, there's that
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Never had any probs with support from apple. They are always helpful. Years ago when I had my iPhone 3G they helped me when the jailbreak messed up my gps where it wasn't working and finding my location. They showed me how to fix that then I rejailbroke my phone and I was very satisfied
    1. ohthatguyagain's Avatar
      ohthatguyagain -
      A couple of months ago, my kid shattered my wife's iPhone 4 - No AppleCare, no bestbuy blacktie, no carrier coverage. Went into the apple store with the remaining thousand pieces or so in a bag... They replaced it for 150 bucks. Seriously - a 600 dollar phone for 150 bucks. The folks were very courteous, and I couldn't have been happier.

      These folks train for service with methods that have been compared to five-star hotel service training. That's why they're the best.
    1. WaLLy3K's Avatar
      WaLLy3K -
      The quality of the telephone support really is going downhill. As much as I want to get into specifics, I'm unable to.
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      Quote Originally Posted by 1shuttle1 View Post
      I have always heard about the other companies referenced in this article that their excuse is that if you want rock bottom prices you get the bottom of the rock tech support. Thats how they get their prices so low. But Apple products are not cheap and are almost never on sale. This site's recent articles have reported Apples's record setting sales. Tim Cooks outrageous payout of $380,000,000 plus dollars. Doubling their market share on phones. Apple has come full circle from their 80's commercial. Maybe put some of those millions into better support. How hard is it to do tech support for Apple anyway at the Genius bar. Ask a few questions, maybe reload software, and more likely walk in back room and grab a refurbished phone. If you frequent this site you know walking in that the first to options are a waste of your time and lets get to the back room buddy and grab me another phone.
      Apple has a profit margin of $8 on iPhones. The parts cost a lot and the price rlly can't be lowered anymore. Tim Cook was paid 1.8 million, the rest is stock option. Those options will be worth nothing if he continues to run apple the way he does.

      Get informed before you start ranting.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      Apple has a profit margin of $8 on iPhones. The parts cost a lot and the price rlly can't be lowered anymore. Tim Cook was paid 1.8 million, the rest is stock option. Those options will be worth nothing if he continues to run apple the way he does.

      Get informed before you start ranting.
      $8?? Haha I'd love to hear your breakdown of costs that leaves Apple with only $8 of profit on an iPhone. What are you smoking cos I'd love some
    1. domenicp's Avatar
      domenicp -
      Since the complaints are with call automation and call wait times, I say that's easy to fix...

      i've heard they use this service provider:

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