Maybe you read some news yesterday about the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) release rating e-business companies. You know the one that said Facebook sucked? Yeah, that one.
There’s a couple of other stories buried in there that can’t ever compete with Facebook news. The first is that the ACSI also rates online news websites. News outlets often don’t usually cover this part of the study, probably for obvious reasons—I doubt MSNBC is chomping at the bit to report that they have the second-lowest satisfaction score of any measured news website. (By the way, kudos to Sarah Mahoney at MediaPost for covering this part of the story.) I think it’s one of the most interesting, and not just because one of my areas at ForeSee is content and media. Okay, that’s part of the reason. But check this out:
FoxNews is crushing everyone! When the ACSI first started measuring FoxNews 3 years ago, they entered the Index with a bang, well above the closest competitor. But this year, they actually GOT BETTER. I wrote three years ago about WHY I think Fox is doing better. No need to rehash all of that again; I think a lot of the same factors are in play.
Here’s the bottom line for these findings: if FoxNews can score in the 80’s, other media sites can too. We know it; ForeSee has media clients that regularly score as high as Fox and better—and if they give us permission to release their scores, we will.
The customer experience is a tricky thing for a news organization to measure. It covers everything from the quality of your content and how that matches up with your audience’s needs to basic site functionality, search and navigation. You can have amazing content that is perfectly targeted to your readers, but if it’s junked up with 72 POINT HEADLINES and LOTS OF OBNOXIOUS ADS (I’m looking at you, HuffingtonPost), you will not do well.
The good news is that for companies using our methodology to measure the customer experience on their website or mobile site, they can benchmark against the above numbers. ForeSee’s methodology is based on the ACSI, and for that reason, the numbers are comparable.
If you are a media company that scores well compared to Fox, ABC, NYTimes, USA Today…you should be shouting it from the rooftops. You should be telling your advertisers that their dollars are better spent with you because your site visitors are more loyal, more engaged, more likely to return, more likely to recommend, and more likely to interact with an ad. You should be pumping up your editorial staff and web team with kudos for a job well done. You should post your satisfaction scores everywhere you can (Inside sources at StubHub confirm that they post their ForeSee scores behind every urinal and toilet in the building. True story.)
If you’re measuring satisfaction with us and your score is subpar compared to these properties, you can see right where you rank in this list. Then, you can leverage the people Jeff Dwoskin keeps calling our data ninjas to help you figure out how to make it better. You can leverage our usability auditors to hone in on specific areas (identified by your satisfaction analytics) to give you clear and concise improvement advice.
And if you’re not measuring your news/information/entertainment/content/media site with us at all, you should start. Call me and I’d be happy to run through this report with you and talk about why satisfaction matters SO MUCH for media properties.
Tomorrow’s post is about what all of this means for advertising.