The Move to Mobile & Customer Satisfaction

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The Move to Mobile & Customer Satisfaction

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  August 31, 2015

If you don’t think that your ability to reach customers via mobile is important to your business, think again. As the recent American Consumer Satisfaction Index on e-business, and recent comments from social media giant Facebook (News - Alert), both illustrate, mobile has become a key – in many cases the key – method of communication for many customers. And it’s become a key growth driver for many companies, including Facebook.

Successful mobile strategies by social media entities, namely Facebook, have enabled the social media category within the ACSI’s e-business focus to go from bottom-of-the-barrel ranking to a very respectable collective score of 74 on a 100-point scale. That means the social media category within the ACSI is now one point ahead of the Internet news and opinion websites category, which saw a 1.4 percent decline since the publication of the last index.

Facebook last year registered an ACSI score of 67. This year it’s at 75, a 12 percent improvement.

As Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of ACSI, noted: “Today’s consumers practically live on their smartphones, and mobile compatibility is increasingly important to customer satisfaction. Social media companies have made strides in improving the mobile experience, particularly through mobile apps that can be optimized by operating system to ensure better compatibility.”

Indeed, as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg noted in the company’s fourth quarter 2015 earnings call, capitalizing on the shift to mobile has been one of the organization’s three key focus areas (the other two are video and making its advertising capabilities more relevant).

The Facebook mobile strategy seems to be working. As Facebook CFO David Wehner said in a CNBC interview televised July 29, 844 million people are using Facebook daily on their mobiles; that’s up 29 percent year over year. And Facebook didn’t have a mobile business three years ago.

“Mobile’s been just a phenomenal growth driver for us,” Wehner said.

Other top social media scorers on the ACSI include Pinterest, with a score of 78; Wikipedia, with a score of 77 percent; index newcomer Instagram, with a score of 76; YouTube, with a score of 76; Google (News - Alert)+, with a score of 75; and Twitter, with a score of 71. According to ACSI, Instagram leads the social media category for ease of use on mobile devices.

In addition to social media, the ACSI’s e-business coverage includes search engines. And while Google registered a 78 score on the ACSI index, three points above Facebook, the search giant has seen a 6 percent slide from last time. The ACSI attributes that to the fact that while most searches now come from mobile, search engines are more challenged to address the mobile to mobile given that most website content was created for desktop browsers.

“While social media and news and opinion websites are usually available through an app,” notes ACSI Director David VanAmburg, “there is no guarantee that the websites listed in mobile search results will be compatible with mobile devices.”

And, as noted above, news and opinion sites are also part of the ACSI’s e-business coverage. FOXNews.com again was ranked at 76, which enabled a four-point jump by the NYTimes.com to put the two entities on a level playing field when it comes to customer satisfaction. The NYTimes.com improvement is attributed to the company’s recent major website redesign. But, despite such efforts, as a group news websites are falling behind social media on several fronts, according to the ACSI.

“Not only are people looking to social media instead of news for fresh content, but news and opinion websites are the lowest-ranked e-business sites in terms of ease of use on mobile and tablet devices,” says Fornell.

                                                  Internet Social Media ACSI Scores

         Company                             2014                                  2015                   Percentage Change   

Pinterest

76

78

3

Wikipedia

74

77

4

YouTube (News - Alert) (Google)

73

76

4

Instagram (Facebook)

N/A

76

N/A

Google+

71

75

6

Facebook

67

75

12

Twitter (News - Alert)

69

71

3

LinkedIn (News - Alert)

67

68

1




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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