Google+ is often mocked as a barren wasteland in the social realm. It has been labeled a social networking service for techies and nerds and not much else. The “personal” relationships that people share on Facebook just doesn’t happen on Google+, according to some. But as irrelevant as Google+ may seem to you, it is leaving a lasting impression.
A study by the American Customer Satisfaction Index E-Business Report and analytics firm, ForeSee, found that Google+ topped Facebook in customer satisfaction during their study, with Facebook falling 8% to a measly 61 on a 100-point scale. Google+ meanwhile rose up to 78 on the same scale. In 2011, Facebook held a 66-point score with a 64-point rating coming the year before that.
One thing to consider up front is that Facebook now has 900+ million users whereas Google+ only has ~250 million. With Google catering mainly to the tech crowd’s wishes (and rather quickly we might add) at this point, it makes sense that Google+’s users are happier – Google is listening to them better and there are simply less of them. Also, Facebook has been on the scene longer and had many more chances to annoy users (which they have handedly done) with various policy changes and timeline tweaks. Google+ could certainly annoy users in a similar way over the next few years.
And what about MySpace? They’re not on the list anymore.
Thus far Facebook has largely played down Google+’s influence in the social media realm, likening it to an annoying cousin (at best). But if the 70,000+ yearly survey conducted by the merican Customer Satisfaction Index is any indication of a growing trend, Facebook better shape up and quick. ForeSee CEO Larry Freed shares a similar belief, saying “If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change” in regards to the study’s new findings.
Despite a growing number of polls, studies and reports suggesting otherwise, the general consensus when we poll users on Twitter, Facebook and other mainstream services is that Google+ is still very much a niche network. Does this latest update have you questioning your opinion of Google+ (or Facebook)?
Facebook Plummets; Google+ Strong in American Customer Satisfaction Index
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (July 17, 2012)—Facebook, already the lowest-scoring e-business company, suffers the largest decline in customer satisfaction according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report released today in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. The social media juggernaut plunges 8% to 61 on a 100-point scale, setting a new record-low score for the Social Media category and placing it among the five lowest-scoring companies of more than 230 measured by the ACSI.
As Facebook falls, cross-town rival Google+ does well with a score of 78 in its first appearance in the ACSI. According to the report, Google+’s strong showing is a result of an absence of traditional advertising and what is seen as a superior mobile product. Google+’s strengths may be Facebook’s weaknesses, as users complain about ads and privacy concerns. However, the most frequent complaints about Facebook are changes to its user interface, most recently the introduction of the Timeline feature.
“Facebook and Google+ are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration. Google+ handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee. “It’s worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base. But I expect Google to leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change.”
The e-business sector overall drops 1.6% from a year ago to a score of 74.2, lower than the national ACSI score of 75.9.
“E-business websites used to be higher in customer satisfaction than most other categories covered by the ACSI, but their performance over the past three years suggests that they need to respond better to the changing needs and expectations of their customers,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and author of The Satisfied Customer. “Our research shows that customer satisfaction is critical for financial performance, as long as consumers have choice and repeat business is important.”