(By Balachander) Amazon (AMZN) continues to set the standard for customer satisfaction, while Apple (AAPL), JCPenney (JCP) and Dell (DELL) suffered declines, says a new report.
Analytics firm ForeSee said Internet-retail giant Amazon has had the highest scores in the annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index for eight years in a row partially because of the appeal and variety of merchandise they offer.
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Amazon.com matched the record high of 88 the company set last year in the holiday edition of the Index, the firm noted.
Apple, meanwhile, registered its lowest score in four years sliding four percent to 80, ForeSee said. PC maker Dell.com also declined four percent to 77.
JCPenney.com declined six percent to 78, the biggest year-over-year fall, ForeSee said.
"At this point, Amazon has been dominant for so long and has such a history of focusing on the customer, its hard to imagine anyone else coming close," said ForeSee CEO Larry Freed. "Companies should emulate Amazon's focus on the customer, which is clearly linked to superior revenues over the years."
"This year, we're seeing that even some of the largest companies in the country are at risk if they lose sight of customer satisfaction," Freed added.
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Freed said satisfaction with the customer experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of future success. "While Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their usual focus on the customer experience. Dell, and JCPenney seem to be struggling to find their way, which could make them extremely vulnerable to competitors."
ForeSee said analysis of top e-retailers in the United States has shown that, on average, a one-point change in website satisfaction was found to predict a 14 percent change in the log of revenue generated on the web.
ForeSee's report is based on more than 24,000 customer surveys collected during the prime holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.