According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, 2015 was characterized by lower customer satisfaction across the board, with few exceptions. Of 43 industries tracked by the market research organization, only five showed consumer satisfaction improvement, but those include the Internet-based retail and household appliance sectors.
At the same time, ACSI pointed out, 30 industries declined and the rest had no change.
Among those companies covered in 2015 that showed up in previous ACSI studies, and so have year-over-year comparison data available, 59% experienced a drop in customer satisfaction, while 26% showed improvement, ACSI noted.
Internet retail gained 5.1% to 82 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale, taking a share of the title for highest customer satisfaction among all industries. Improvement was strongest for the group of smaller Internet-based retailers and the online part of brick-and-mortar stores, ACSI maintained.
The household appliances industry saw its rating edge up 1.3% to 81, ACSI noted. Personal care and cleaning products declined 6.1% to 77 on the scale.
Social media and online travel services also boosted user satisfaction with social media overall up 4.2% in 2015 to a 74 rating. All social media websites got better notices from their users, the firm reported. The online travel service industry rating gained 1.3% to a 78 rating.
The top performing companies in the index were Amazon, Nordstrom and Chick-fil-A, ACSI related, all at an 86 rating.
“By and large, the overall customer experience for goods and services purchased and consumed in the United States is getting worse,” said Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of ACSI. “There are exceptions, but the overall trend of deteriorating customer satisfaction encompasses nearly every industry and is holding consumer spending in check, forcing retailers into steeper or more extended discounts.”