Which news site has the highest customer satisfaction rating? FoxNews.com – by far. Who fared the worst? HuffingtonPost.com.
These are the findings of the annual ForeSee American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report that was released today.
In the News and Information category FoxNews.com leads by a considerable margin. Its satisfaction score of 84 is six points higher than the #2 news site, ABCNews.com. Its 2.4% increase over last year is also the highest rate of improvement in the group.
Most of the others including ABCNews.com, CNN.com, USAToday.com, NYTimes.com and MSNBC.com are clustered together with satisfaction scores from 73-76.
Only HuffingtonPost.com scored considerably lower than the pack with a 69 for the second straight year.
So what is FoxNews.com doing right? Apparently it is giving the people what they want. According to the report it “has a good understanding of its visitors’ wants and needs and has done an incredible job at not just meeting expectations, but surpassing them.”
That sounds like it is mostly about content to me. I think it is fair to say that the FoxNews.com audience is generally speaking in favor of the site’s choices in and style of coverage.
Conversely HuffingtonPost.com, which scored 15 points lower, is described as “difficult to navigate, cluttered, and ad heavy.” That describes user experience as opposed to content. Not a surprising assessment as HuffPo is not exactly a simple, streamlined site.
However the report commentary also suggests the site “seems to suffer from more diffuse targeting. The site began as an opinionated liberal news commentary, but has evolved into a more general news and information site since its acquisition by AOL.”
How Do Ads Impact User Experience?
The Huffington Post’s “ad heavy” description aligns with the ASCI study’s findings on advertising on news sites.
HuffingtonPost.com has the highest score for “I don’t pay attention to the ads” and “ads interfere with my experience.” Similarly it has the lowest score for “I frequently look at the ads.”
Interestingly USAToday.com ties for the highest ad relevancy score and more users apparently pay attention to its advertisements than any other news site.