Customer satisfaction survey reflective of weak economy

Would you ever think there would be a customer satisfaction survey about soda preferences? After all the product is relatively inexpensive, and consumers can just change their mind as they pass by the soda machine at the office. Ann Arbor based American Customer Satisfaction Index surveyed 1000 soft drink shoppers in June and July and asked questions about different types of sodas and their value for the money.

The managing director of ACSI stated, “In a down economy, (consumers) say, ‘Quality is nice, but I need to get a good value for my money.’ ” Dr Pepper Snapple claimed the top score with an 85 out of a possible 100 beating Coca-Cola and Pepsi Company. Dr Pepper scored a few points higher, and according to ACSI may indicate a loyalty and enthusiasm for the underdog. Soft drink companies’ sales are fairly recession proof and with the global expansion to China and India, revenues have been on the rise.

The Pepsi Refresh Project gives away millions of dollars each month to fund refreshing ideas that may change the world. People, businesses, and non-profits can submit an idea; good for the important causes of  the world and good for the customer satisfaction perception. Coca-Cola recently signed a deal and will directly distribute its Dr Pepper brand in the US. “People who love Pepsi, love Pepsi. People who love Coke, love Coke.” It seems it’s really about the preference or maybe just the taste?

Customer satisfaction showed strong performances in fast food consumer spending. Many people still prefer fast food and the soft drink included in the value meals seem to be cheaper and a more convenient alternative to the grocery store.

Continuing with results of the poll, personal care and cleaning products had a sharp decline. Some consumers have abandoned Proctor and Gamble products for the lower priced alternatives. If consumers find the lower priced products to work just as well, it will be very difficult for Proctor and Gamble to regain their customer loyalty without discounting prices to step out against the new competition.

It’s a sign of the times. When money flowed freely, consumers didn’t have to worry about saving a few dollars here and there. What businesses will ultimately survive? We’ll just have to wait and see.