Samsung must be doing something right because the brand’s customer satisfaction has grown improved relative to the way people feel about phones generally over the past year, while the same can’t be said for competitors Apple and BlackBerry whose fans have become less satisfied, according to the recently released South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi).

The SAcsi, which uses methodology licensed under the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), conducts research with customers to measure satisfaction using an advanced statistical model in line with the ACSI model.

For the mobile handsets industry customer satisfaction index, research was conducted between January and June 2014 among 1 563 South African customers through telephonic, web-survey methods to measure satisfaction with Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry and a category of “other brands” based on market share.

“Samsung has improved its customer satisfaction since last year and it has done so in other markets as well. In the USA, Apple sells nearly twice the number of smart phones than Samsung, yet Samsung came out on top this year in one critical metric—customer satisfaction,” said Professor Adré Schreuder, founder and chair of SAcsi.

While Apple customers are still the happiest with their handsets, they are less so than last year. The same is also true for Samsung, but Schreuder says that interesting comparison is to look at the two against an overall industry average of 73.3%. Compared to a year ago, Samsung’s score against the average has risen, while Apple’s has fallen.

BlackBerry’s customers satisfaction declined for the second year in a row, recording one of the lowest scores the SAcsi has seen in South Africa.

Below are the various scores for each brand in South Africa:Screenshot (279)

Schreduer attributed the low falling customer satisfaction with  regard to Apple to high costs. ”The lower overall industry score is driven by lower perceived value – handsets are getting more expensive and customers are questioning the amount of added value they get from next generation phones. They appear to be wondering if it is warranted to pay much higher prices for very similar functionality,” he said.

Samsung also saw a rise in its Net Promoter Score, which indicates whether customers would recommend a particular phone, according to SAcsi, while Apple, Nokia and BlackBerry’s Net Promoter Scored declined.

Overall, South African customer satisfaction with mobile phones scored 73.3 out of 100, placing the country fourth internationally behind Turkey, the US and the UK.

[Source –  South African Customer Satisfaction Index, Image – CC 2.0/ Sarah Reido]

//Updated 22nd Oct for clarity around table stats.

//Updated 23rd Oct – Changed headline and clarified that Samsung’s satisfaction has grown relatively to the market and competitors, but Apple remains on top. Thanks to Dave Meyers for pointing out some inconsistencies on that.