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article imageFacebook falls short on customer satisfaction

By Kay Mathews     Jul 21, 2010 in Internet
Facebook, the "king of social networks," has approximately 500 million members but many are not satisfied customers, according to a newly released report.
The 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report, produced in partnership with ForeSee Results, found [PDF] ]customer satisfaction with Facebook at the "bottom 5 percent of all measured private sector companies."
Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, said in a press release:
Facebook is a phenomenal success, so we were not expecting to see it score so poorly with consumers. At the same time, our research shows that privacy concerns, frequent changes to the website, and commercialization and advertising adversely affect the consumer experience. Compare that to Wikipedia, which is a non-profit that has had the same user interface for years, and it’s clear that while innovation is critical, sometimes consumers prefer evolution to revolution.
Facebook's low score in the survey placed it in the range with cable and airline companies.
The 2010 survey was the first time that social media sites were measured. ACSI has a 100-point scale and those included in the social media category scored as follows:
Wikipedia at 77
YouTube at 73
Facebook at 64
MySpace at 63
Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and professor of business at the University of Michigan, said, "Social media has become too big to ignore, so we added it to our list of e-business measures. We are quite surprised to find that satisfaction with the category defies its popularity."
It's hard to question the popularity of Facebook. In fact, Wired reported on July 20 that "Facebook is primed to announce this week that it’s amassed a half billion active friends, a milestone reinforcing its status as the king of social networks – a company to be regarded with the seriousness and power (if not revenue) of Google, Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be interviewed by ABC's Diane Sawyer on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET. He's expected to reveal various stats relating to Facebook membership.
The results of this survey suggest that friends are satisfied with keeping in touch with each other, making new friends, and reconnecting with long-lost friends, but they appear to be unsatisfied with the company making the social connections happen.
Additional information about ACSI:
The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. Data from interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually are used as inputs into an econometric model to measure satisfaction with more than 225 companies in 45 industries and 10 economic sectors, as well as more than 130 federal government departments, agencies, and websites.
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