Customer satisfaction with e-business, which had been rising the previous three years, slipped 0.8% in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Customer satisfaction declined to 74.3 on ACSI’s 100-point scale, falling as a result of lower user satisfaction with internet news and search engines. The e-business segment includes three categories: social media, search engines and information websites, and news and opinion websites.
Customer satisfaction for social media was unchanged at an ACSI score of 73.
Google+ tops the index with an increase of 7.0% to 81, after its launch of new features and a redesign in January.
Twitter posted the largest gain, up 8.0% to 70, and overtook Facebook. Users have looked to social media for up-to-the-minute news, and now major news networks have become reliant on Twitter for information. Twitter’s profile also has been raised because of its use by the U.S. president.
YouTube tumbled 4.0% to 74, just above the industry average.
Customer satisfaction with search engines and information websites fell 1.3% to 76 as all the top-scoring search engines lost ground. Google, the biggest brand name in search, slipped two points to 82. However, it maintained its nine-point lead over its nearest major rival, Microsoft’s Bing.
Interest in the presidential election boosted news and opinion websites a year ago, but things have changed since then. Twitter’s emergence as a news source has overtaken websites of traditional news outlets, with user satisfaction moving in the opposite direction. Customer satisfaction with internet news and opinion fell 1.3% to 75.
FOXNews.com dropped three points to tie for first place with the combined score of smaller news websites at 77. ABCNews.com and USATODAY.com tied for second, and they also fell by three points each to 74.
The ACSI E-Business Report 2017 on internet social media, search engines and information, and news and opinion is based on interviews with 4,978 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between June 25, 2016, and May 9, 2017. Customers were asked to evaluate their recent experiences with the largest social media, search/information and news websites in terms of visitor traffic, plus an aggregate category consisting of “all other” — and thus smaller — websites in those categories.