While Apple’s tech support line isn’t the nightmare of most automated phone systems, it’s tarnishing the Cupertino, Calif. company’s sterling reputation with customers. That’s the finding of a study showing HP and Dell service calls are catching up with the tech giant.
“Apple used to be well ahead of the pack in tech support,” Peter Leppik, CEO of Minnesota-based Vocalabs, said. “Now it would be safe to say that they are merely in front of the pack.”
After interviewing customers immediately following tech support calls, 58 percent of the people reported during the first half of 2011 being “Very Satisfied” with the experience, down 15 points from a year ago. HP customers reported 53 percent were “Very Satisfied” while Dell customers responded with 47 percent, according to the research.
Of note is the vast difference in how satisfied Apple customers are with the calls’ automated versus agent support. Only 24 percent of customers were “Very Satisfied” with the automated portion, landing in third place behind HP’s 40% and Dell’s 36 percent. In the surveys conducted between May 2008 and June 2011, 40 percent of Apple customers experienced a problem during the automated portion of tech support calls.
A bright spot, however, is Apple’s tech support agents are rated vastly higher than rival computer makers. The human portion of Apple tech support calls received a 77 percent “Very Satisfied” rating, compared to 61 percent for HP and 56 percent for Dell.