updated 02:15 pm EDT, Fri April 17, 2009
Forrester Cust Servc Q109
Forrester today issued a report on customer experience with computers that gave Apple a significant lead over competitors. The Mac producer received an 80 percent score, or "good," on a combination of ease of use, meeting needs and a pleasurable experience. Its next-closest rival, Gateway, scored just 66 percent, or "okay." Other competitors fared worse, with HP and its sub-label Compaq receiving 64 percent and 63 percent scores that are considered "poor;" Dell has dipped to 58 percent.
The 4,500-person study's author, Bruce Temkin, adds in his personal notes that Apple's advantages were especially notable in the ease of use and enjoyability sections, where the leads were extended to 17 percent and 15 percent each.
Forrester's report comes just as Microsoft has launched a new phase of its ad campaign specifically advocating that buyers focus on price and comparing only specifications, including TV ads as well as online comparisons that have been criticized for overlooking key aspects of the experiences of both Macs and PCs, such as system design or the long-term costs of security.
Temkin instead argues that Microsoft and the individual PC makers need to switch strategy and emphasize the quality of the experience over price.
"The Windows ecosystem needs an extreme customer experience makeover," he says.