ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following five consecutive quarters of declining satisfaction dating back to 2018, U.S. customer satisfaction held steady in the first quarter of this year, with a score of 75.4 (on a scale of 0 to 100) on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®).
While the stability in aggregate satisfaction can be viewed as relatively positive news for the economy, the current ACSI release includes data collected through the end of March. As such, much of the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic does not yet appear in the results.
Unsurprisingly, first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth declined steeply, down 4.8% on an annualized basis. Consumer spending was even worse, down 7.6%.
Given that stay-at-home orders in many states did not begin until middle or late March, and that March is solely responsible for the negative quarterly spending growth (as both January and February had positive growth), it is reasonable to expect April numbers to be significantly worse.
“Historically, American Customer Satisfaction Index data often show improved customer satisfaction during difficult economic times,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI Founder and Chairman. “Consumers that maintain the ability to spend during these periods often find attractive prices, ample supply from sellers, and less competition from other consumers.”
It will be important to see if this trend continues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as strong customer satisfaction will prove critical to how quickly consumer spending and the economy rebound.
The national ACSI score reflects customer satisfaction across sectors and industries over a rolling 12-month period. For more, follow the ACSI on LinkedIn and Twitter at @theACSI or visit www.theacsi.org.
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the data and information in this release without the express prior written consent of ACSI LLC.
About the American Customer Satisfaction Index
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) has been a national economic indicator for 25 years. It measures and analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 46 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies. Reported on a scale of 0 to 100, scores are based on data from interviews with roughly 500,000 customers annually. For more information, visit www.theacsi.org.
ACSI and its logo are Registered Marks of the University of Michigan, licensed worldwide exclusively to American Customer Satisfaction Index LLC with the right to sublicense.