Facebook Plummets In 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index

By David Cohen 

Facebook took a beating in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, released Tuesday in partnership with ForeSee, experiencing the largest decline of the 230 companies measured, 8 percent, and setting a record low for an e-business.

The social network’s 61 percent performance in the 2012 ACSI placed it in the bottom five of the 230 companies included.

Meanwhile, rival social network Google Plus debuted on the ACSI with a bang, scoring 78 percent.

Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn also made their ACSI debuts in 2012, all finishing ahead of Facebook by scoring 69 percent, 64 percent, and 63 percent, respectively. The social media category as a whole was down 1.4 percent to 69 percent.

ForeSee said the most frequent consumer complaints about Facebook involved the constant changes to its user interface, particularly its introduction of timeline, as well as privacy concerns, and an abundance of advertising.

Meanwhile, Google Plus was praised for its focus on privacy, superior mobile offering, and lack of traditional advertising.

ForeSee President and CEO Larry Freed said:

Facebook and Google Plus are competing on two critical fronts: customer experience and market penetration. Google Plus handily wins the former, and Facebook handily wins the latter, for now. It’s worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base. But I expect Google to leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change.

A spokesperson for Facebook, which actually has more than 900 million monthly average users, said in a response to CNET:

We care deeply about the experience people have on Facebook, and that’s why we’re so focused on building and improving the products we offer. Giving people the means to interact with people when they want, where they want, and how they want is the most meaningful way for us to make our relationship with people even stronger.

Readers: How should Facebook respond to its poor showing in the 2012 ACSI?