Google, Amazon lead tech lower in customer satisfaction index

Information services delivered the lowest American Customer Satisfaction scores outside of the government. Facebook and social media rivals fared well.

Customer satisfaction in the tech industry is sliding along with a broader downturn among U.S. economic sectors as Google and Amazon take hits with Facebook being a bright spot.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) fell 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter to 73.4 on a 100-point scale. According to the ACSI, the index has fallen to its lowest score in a decade after eight consecutive quarters of declines.

On a macroeconomic level, the declines aren't that surprising. Wages have stagnated and consumer demand is weak. On the technology front, the service pack era for smartphones, the lack of hardware innovation and new unproven product categories have all created a bit of malaise. Whether it's virtual reality, 3D printing or 4K televisions, there's a chicken and egg issue for demand.

With that backdrop, I looked into how the ACSI for the tech industry and individual brands have fared.

First, let's look at how tech stands in the economic ecosystem. The biggest takeaway is that the information sector, which includes software, communication and information services like Google, has the lowest ACSI score outside of the government. You won't hear much about that from Silicon Valley anytime soon.

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Most sectors fell year-over-year, but that tech-heavy information category fell the most 3.4 percent to trail only manufacturing and nondurable goods at 3.5 percent.

If you dig deeper the Internet search engine and information category was hurt by Google's decline. Google's ACSI score is the second lowest recorded, down 6 percent from a year ago.

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Meanwhile, Amazon delivered its lowest ACSI score ever at 83, down 3.5 percent from a year ago. eBay recorded its lowest ACSI score ever and Netflix took a hit too.

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On the smartphone front Apple and Samsung tied with ACSI scores of 80 and most players showed gains from a year ago. Nevertheless, Apple was off from the 83 posted in 2012 and Samsung down from 81 posted a year ago.

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One bright spot was social media. Most players delivered ACSI gains with Facebook surging nearly 12 percent from a year ago. YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn delivered their highest ACSI marks.

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