Apple gets coal in stocking as holiday online satisfaction drops

iPhone 5 US online Apple Store shipping times 20121109

Apple, usually the benchmark for customer satisfaction, fell from its lofty perch during the all-important Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping period. After quickly jettisoning its senior vice-president of retail and suffering questions surrounding supplies of new products, the company “stumbled”, falling to a four-year low, according to a customer satisfaction analytics firm Thursday. The iPhone maker fell 3 points to 80 out of 100, dropping it from the overall top five online holiday retailers and behind #1, which was rated 88 out of 100 by Forsee…

“Satisfaction with the customer experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of future success,” Forsee announced while releasing customer satisfaction figures for online retailers.

“While Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their usual focus on the customer experience”.

The firm advised Apple’s Internet store needs to improve its “usefulness, convenience and variety of online features available to site features.”

A number of events this year may have impacted the online satisfaction results.

The iPad maker fired John Browett as the company’s SVP of Retail just days after a series of controversial Apple Store layoffs were announced.

In a bit of irony, had the sharpest decrease in online customer satisfaction during the holidays, dropping by 5 points. J.C. Penney’s new chief, Ron Johnson, formerly led Apple’s retail efforts.

Where did Apple stub its toe online?

The desire to buy was already weak, with some reports indicating retail demand rose less than one percent for holiday merchants. Couple this with the incessant drumbeat of negativity coming from Wall Street and you have a self-fulfilling prophecy of people seeing Apple as wounded and with a halo not as shiny as years past.

In your view, is the online Apple store experience lacking?