For the first time in years, Samsung is said to have the most satisfied customers when it comes to customer support in the smartphone industry, toppling its archrival Apple, which has always touted customer service as one of its biggest strengths.
A survey of 70,000 customers in the United States conducted by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) from September 2013 to March 2014 shows Samsung topped the list of smartphone companies when it comes to keeping its existing customers happy.
The report shows Samsung garnering a total score of 81, which is not a considerable lead against Apple's own 79. However, Samsung demonstrates the biggest gain from the previous survey, with a total 6.6 percent improvement from its last score of 76. All in all, Samsung's score has improved by 11 percent since 2004, the first year the ACSI began covering the smartphone industry.
Apple, on the other hand, saw its score drop from 81 during the previous survey, making for a 2.5 percent decline from the previous period. Apple's customer satisfaction score has continuously declined since 2012, the year when it was included in the survey. Its latest score is down by 4.9 percent from its first score of 83.
Trailing behind Samsung and Apple are the Finnish technology company Nokia and Motorola Mobility, which was owned by Google at the time of the survey. Both companies retained zero to modest improvements in customer satisfaction, with Nokia showing a one-point increase and Motorola having the same score as the previous survey. Both companies were given a score of 77.
BlackBerry also posed serious improvement from its previous years. The Canadian smartphone maker was given an average score of 69 in 2012 and 2013, but shows a 7.2 increase to 74 for the ACSI's latest survey, which should give the ailing company a leg up in its quest to retain some semblance of its old glory days.
HTC received a score of 75, while Samsung's Korean rival LG Electronics comes in last with a score of 73, a 2.8 increase from the previous year's 71.
The news should at least give Samsung to smile about at the start of the year. The market share leader in smartphones has seen a huge cut in its slice of the pie. Although Samsung continues to own a huge 24 percent of the global smartphone industry, its share has declined from 33 percent the previous year, while all its other rivals, including rapidly growing Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, posted positive numbers in terms of growth of market share.
Samsung posted a decline in profit in the last fiscal quarter of 2014, the first decline in the last three years since it began taking over the market in 2011. Samsung's head of investor relations Robert Yi acknowledged that the company was "not quick enough" in reacting to market conditions and will respond with a focus on "efficiency," implying a move to veer away from producing too many models and focusing on improving fewer products.