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Research recently released by South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) suggests that South Africans are increasingly dissatisfied with their laptops.
The results of the survey, which was based on interviews with more than 1 300 South African consumers, saw them give laptops an average customer satisfaction score of 75.1 out of 100. The score is four points lower than last year.
The laptop brands included in the index included the Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo and Samsung, selected by market share. Of the lot, Dell emerged as the industry leader, trumping all the other brands. The other brands all swirled in the average pit, lingering around a score that is on par with the industry average.
Prof Adré Schreuder, founder and chair of the SAcsi, said of the research: “There is little differentiation amongst the various laptop brands from a customer satisfaction point of view and only one brand scored higher than the industry average.”
The data for this research was collected between April and June 2014 using two methods, telephonic and web-based surveys at a statistically reliable sample of at least 200 respondents per company. For the laptop industry the total sample was 1361 randomly selected respondents who recently purchased a laptop of the included brands.
Each one of the brands recorded a lower satisfaction score than last year. Customer satisfaction is measured using an advanced statistical model that has been rigorously evaluated, in line with the American Customer Satisfaction Index methodology.
“The proliferation of tablets has probably contributed to the decline in customer satisfaction as it has in the USA,” explains Prof. Schreuder. “Before tablets came on the scene, laptops received higher user satisfaction ratings than desktops because at that stage, the laptop was the tablet. But now, the laptop falls between the traditional set-up of a desktop and the ‘carry-everywhere’ tablet. For the industry, the next wave could come from products that bridge the gap by marrying the functionality of the desktop with the ease of use and portability of the tablet.”
Relative to the international ACSI scores, South Africa’s laptop industry score is slightly lower than that of the USA (79) which serves as the international benchmark.
Prof Shreuder expressed concern about the lack of differentiation among the top brands. “Price sensitivity appears to be a major influence as brand loyalty is relatively low in this industry. If we follow the trend in the USA, we may just see a surge of satisfaction with PCs as customers feel that their expectations are not being met by laptops and tablets,” he said.
Overall, complaints about laptops were low compared to other industries, but there were specific complaints and these included a short battery life, hard drive and hardware problems, screen issues and freezing or slow machines.