The American Customer Satisfaction Index, which tracks customer satisfaction across a wide range of industries, has unsettling news for newspapers. According to its "satisfaction index," in the
first quarter '09, newspaper customers' satisfaction rating was lower than airlines and cell phone providers.
Newspapers also had the steepest "satisfaction" drop of any industry in the quarter, per the survey. That's bad enough, but what's worse is how much newspapers' rating has slipped since the surveys began. It's off 12.5% since the survey's debut in 1994. In contrast, the most-satisfactory segment for the first quarter was the full-service restaurant industry.
Bloggers responded with a range of possible reasons for the decline in newspapers' scores, including circulation problems and a lack of newsworthy content. "Papers have ceased to be the surrogate for the reader, have seriously diluted their watchdog role and have off-shored circulation complaints, meaning you have a devil of a time even getting a bill for your subscription," says one post.