Last week we published the most National Customer Service Survey data on tech support at major electronics manufacturers: Apple, Dell, and HP.
We publish this report every six months, and there were two interesting developments from the first half of 2010 to the second half.
At Apple, many of the key business metrics declined from the one period to the next. This decline was statistically significant, but because Apple had improved significantly from the second half of 2009 to the first half of 2010, the net effect was to put the company back to about where it was at the end of 2009. We don't know why they had these changes: it could be a statistical blip, or Apple could have been building up its tech support capabilities in advance of last year's iPad launch. It will be very interesting to see where they wind up in the first half of 2011.
Dell posted some meaningful gains in the automated service portion of tech support calls, and the percentage of Dell customers reporting any of several common annoyances (we call this the "nuisance factor") has been declining over the past 18 months.
HP's big gains in the first half of 2010 were sustained into the second half, suggesting that the change was not just a temporary statistical blip. However, HP did not post much meaningful change from the first half of 2010 to the second half.