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Satisfaction with social media websites low says study
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (7/22/11)--It's no secret that credit unions are getting into the social media trend, with Facebook and LinkedIn pages, YouTube videos, and more as they try to attract younger members. A new study, however, is giving low scores to social media in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction overall with e-business has risen 2.6% to 75.4 on a 100-point scale on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), largely due to increased satisfaction for portals and search engines. However satisfaction with social media websites remains low, yet stable, with an unchanged aggregate scale of 70, said Larry Freed, president/CEO of ForeSee Results in the company's Annual E-Business Report 2011 on the index. Social media websites, which have been included in the study for only two years, received the fourth lowest score of all companies, said the report. Only airlines, cable television and print newspapers have managed to satisfy customers less than social media websites. This has implications for credit unions using social medias to market their brand, products and services to maintain connections with their members. Social media sites could become a potential weak link in the satisfaction chain for credit unions not paying attention to how well their sites use social media. Among the social media websites, Wikipedia ranked at the top, with a score of 78, a 1.3% increase over its score last year. Facebook remained the lowest-scoring site in the group, with a score of 66 or a 3.1% increase from last year, said Freed's report. One surprise, said the report, was what site wasn't on the list of measured companies this year: MySpace. "The ACSI could not gather enough responses to calculate a statistically reliable score for the site, which is telling of the site's shrinking market share," the report said. YouTube.com (Google) was ranked 74, a 1.3% change from last year. The site ranks lower than online streaming sites such as Netflix (85) and Blockbuster (78). Twitter.com and LinkedIn and other players in the social media space were represented as aggregate sites because so many users access the service through other sites or platforms. The aggregate companies clocked in with a 70, same as last year. So what makes Wikipedia a better customer experience? According to the report, it follows a nonprofit model, which allows users to navigate the site free of advertising. "This could be a contributing factor to the high satisfaction score, as users indicate they are the least likely or all measured social media users to be influenced by advertising." Despite its score, Facebook continues to be the social media site of choice for most users--750 million users. Customers have shown that, so far, they have been willing to suffer through a poor user experience to enjoy the benefits Facebook provides. However, Facebook will face new competition from Google+. Google traditionally has seen ASCI scores in the 80s. The winner in a contest between the two will be the social network that provides the best customer experience, said the report. ForeSee Results, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is the same group that in an earlier study ranked credit unions well ahead of banks, 80 to 76 points respectively, in a similar consumer satisfaction ranking. Use the link to download the full e-business report, which includes scores for e-business for social media sites, portals, search engines and online news sites.
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