Silicon Valley: Internet site Yahoo, for the first time, has outperformed web giant Google in overall customer satisfaction, says a new survey.
According to the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Yahoo’s score in the index improved by about 4% over the past year to 79 (out of 100 points) while Google’s score fell by nearly 4% to 78.
“Even more important than Yahoo’s first lead over Google is the trend of their scores moving in opposite directions,” said Larry Freed, online satisfaction expert and President and CEO of ForeSee Results, which sponsors the ACSI e-business report.
“Since the ACSI is a leading indicator of financial performance on the macro scale and at the company level, we may see a real turnaround for Yahoo! in the next year.
“A number of design changes and enhancements are paying off for Yahoo! in higher customer satisfaction, which will be critical to turning around this year’s lacklustre financials,” he said.
While Google remains the dominant search engine, Yahoo is gaining user approval for its network of websites, e-mail and other features, said the survey.
Although Google has introduced new features, including Google Maps, it has failed to promote these features. The Google home page has not changed and some users say it looks stale compared to Ask.com, which has a very different display of search results, the survey said.
It also found that Ask.com had achieved the highest per cent increase in customer satisfaction of any online company. It rose by 6% to a score of 75, still well behind Google.
“Ask.com seems to be well-positioned to rival Google in the coming years because it has a strong search technology lauded by analysts and users alike and by developing impressive features to challenge Google’s lesser-known add-ons,” Freed said.