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Customer satisfaction has been found have a direct effect on customer loyalty to entertainment and news websites, with highly satisfied mobile website visitors being much more likely to recommend them to others, according to research from customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

The ForeSee news benchmark study included websites such as Automotive News, Forbes, International Data Group (IDG), and the Weather Channel among many others. The average satisfaction score was 76 (on a 100-point scale) and individual website scores ranged from a low of 66 to a high of 85.

The company compared the behaviours of highly satisfied website visitors (i.e. those with satisfaction score of at least 80) to the future intentions of less satisfied site visitors (i.e. those with satisfaction scores of 69 or less), and found that highly satisfied visitors to news websites report being:

  • 43% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the website again, which means visit frequency and engagement that translates directly into value for advertisers.
  • 77% more likely to recommend the website to a friend, family member or colleague, which results in more site visits and a premium on ad space.
  • 58% more likely to use the site as a primary resource (as opposed to other channels like print or broadcast).
  • 73% more likely to subscribe to the full site (for sites that are subscription based) which brings in revenue.
  • 147% more likely to click on an ad, which creates demonstrable value for advertisers.

"Customers have an incredible number of choices when it comes to getting their news, so providing a superior customer experience can give one organisation a huge competitive advantage over another," said ForeSee senior director, Eric Feinberg.

The company's entertainment benchmark study included websites such as ESPN and other similar services. The average satisfaction score was 78, and individual company scores within the entertainment category ranged from a low of 71 to a high of 84. The company then broke down the category even further to examine consumer satisfaction with media and entertainment sites that are advert-supported, compared to those that are subscription-based.

Based on the research, highly satisfied visitors to advertising-driven news and entertainment sites reported being:

  • 45% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the website again.
  • 81% more likely to recommend the website to a friend, family member, or colleague.
  • 54% more likely to use the site as their primary resource.

Highly satisfied visitors to subscription-based news and entertainment sites reported being:

  • 70% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the website again.
  • 116% more likely to recommend the website.

At the same time, highly satisfied visitors to news and entertainment sites who use a mobile device reported being:

  • 58% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the mobile site or app again, which equates to more frequency and engagement.
  • 88% more likely to recommend the mobile site or app to a friend, family member, or colleague.

"Throughout our monthly and annual benchmarks, the one thing that remains the same is that customer satisfaction continues to be critical to the future success of every news and entertainment organisation because the industry is so competitive and customers have so many choices," concluded Larry Freed, president and CEO for ForeSee.