Mac rant tech

What should they do with the company, Michael?

The company Michael Dell said should be sold off and the money given to its shareholders is kicking his butt:

Overall customer satisfaction with the PC industry is unchanged from a year ago at 74, but changes within the industry give Apple a commanding lead. The PC maker maintains big improvements from 2003 and 2004, holding at 81 for a second year. Apple’s sales are up 33%, net income has grown 300% and its stock price has nearly tripled over the past year. A slew of product innovations and an emphasis on digital technologies and customer service have been very successful for Apple with a high degree of customer loyalty as a result.

Dell is a different story. Based on a strategy of mass customization, the #1 PC maker worldwide has been a leader in customer satisfaction for several years. This quarter, it suffers a sharp drop in ACSI, down 6% to 74. Customer service in particular has become a problem, and service quality lags not only Apple but also the rest of the industry. Customer complaints are up significantly with long wait-times and difficulties with Dell’s call-center abound. Still, competitive pricing as a result of Dell’s direct-sales business model keeps overall customer satisfaction slightly above other competitors, with the exception of Apple. Whether Dell’s declining satisfaction will have a negative impact on the company’s stock performance remains to be seen; however, ACSI history has shown that changes in customer satisfaction often signal similar changes in future financial performance. Apple’s stock price is up 35% for the year-to-date, whereas Dell’s is flat.
[Via MacInTouch, emphasis in quoted text added. –R]