The American Customer Satisfaction Index set record high at 77.8 in the 2023 fourth quarter, up from a 2022 low of just under 73, which was its deepest dive since 2002.
Happy customers are likely to spend more, and the organization pointed out that the economy in the United States demonstrated remarkable vigor in 2023. Gross domestic product, labor markets, consumer spending, household income, productivity and the stock market all improved at a healthy rate, ACSI pointed out, while the rate of inflation slowed to approach its long-term average.
The gains in 2023 customer satisfaction contrasted with the results two years earlier when the index reached its lowest point in 20 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain obstacles, high inflation, product shortages and poor customer service. ACSI noted many challenges related to those negatively impacting factors have dissipated. Traditional competition among sellers has returned, while in an environment where pay has increased, personnel shortages have abated somewhat. Consumer expectations also have declined, and while that slide is small, it lowers the satisfaction bar, ACSI pointed out.
As for major companies with high levels of and major improvements to customer satisfaction in the index, some standouts were Macy’s, Hyatt Hotels, Amazon Prime Video and Avis Car Rentals, according to ACSI. Significant improvements occurred in the gas station, hospital, social media and personal computer sectors, ACSI reported.