A tale of two e-business blunders: Where Twitter and FoxNews.com aren’t satisfying users

At first glance, user satisfaction with e-business can best be described as steady.  

Per our E-Business Study 2020-2021, all three e-business industries – social media, news and opinion, and search engines and information – are unchanged year over year, with ACSI scores of 70, 74, and 76, respectively. 

However, if you dig deeper than the industry level, you’ll quickly realize these marks don’t tell the whole story. 

Take Twitter and FoxNews.com, for example. These two entities are extremely popular among the masses. Currently, Twitter has 353 million monthly active users and generated $3.72 billion in revenue last year. Meanwhile, Fox News Digital had a record year in 2020

But popularity and customer satisfaction don’t always go hand in hand. Regrettably for Twitter and FoxNews.com, that’s not a good thing.

Twitter takes an epic fall

User satisfaction with Twitter tanks, dropping 10% to an ACSI score of 61. With the biggest decline across all three e-business categories, Twitter now sits in last place among social media companies.  

Users feel that Twitter is worse in every customer experience benchmark – sometimes, significantly worse. They say the social media network is harder to navigate, lacks variety of services and information, and offers poor site performance. And we haven’t even touched on privacy. 

While privacy has the industry’s worst score among customer experience benchmarks, users feel social media improves in this area (69 to 71). However, it’s Twitter’s biggest issue, according to the data. The social media giant finishes near the bottom of the industry in this area.”

This shouldn’t be all that surprising if you follow the news. Twitter has received negative press for countless security blunders, including a cryptocurrency scam stemming from the hacks of high-profile accounts like President Joe Biden, Kanye West, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and more. 

Twitter also faces a “content” problem. According to users, the content isn’t as fresh or relevant as last year. Identifying who is most dissatisfied with Twitter is a fool’s errand. 

Individuals on both sides of the political spectrum have voiced frustration with Twitter. Conservatives, upset over numerous account suspensions – like former President Donald Trump’s – are citing attacks on free speech, while liberals are perturbed that Twitter waited so long to curb the spread of misinformation.

FoxNews.com faces unfamiliar territory

FoxNews.com’s satisfaction struggles aren’t as sudden or intense as Twitter’s, but the writing’s been on the wall, it seems, for some time.

In 2012, FoxNews.com led internet news and opinion with an ACSI score of 84. By 2014, that number dropped to 76. It climbed as high as 79 in 2016, but FoxNews.com hasn’t hit 80 or above since 2013 – when it was 82 – and user satisfaction has declined for three years straight.

This year, FoxNews.com stumbles 4% to a new record-low score of 72. While that’s still good enough to remain atop individually measured sites, it now shares the lead with USAToday.com, and its position as the industry’s bona fide leader is in jeopardy.

According to users, FoxNews.com’s site performance is poorer, the content is less fresh, and the site is more difficult to navigate. Additionally, when it comes to the ease of using the site on different devices, FoxNews.com is among the industry’s worst. 

Can Twitter and FoxNews.com find their footing?

Twitter and FoxNews.com aren’t the only ones in the e-business sector experiencing satisfaction slumps, but their declines are the most notable. 

FoxNews.com is now closer to the middle of the pack in internet news and opinion than it is to the top, and Twitter now sits at the bottom of social media.

They each have work to do to turn things around, but at least users are giving them an idea of what needs to be fixed. Twitter users desire fresher and more content, as well as a greater variety of services and information, while FoxNews.com readers wish the site was easier to navigate and easier to use on different devices.

There’s no guarantee that making these changes will improve satisfaction, but it can’t hurt. Given each of their current situations, any improvements might be welcome.   

Why customers have no real beef with Five Guys

Customers got beef with burger joints.

According to our Restaurant Study 2020-2021, burger chains hold four of the bottom five spots among fast food restaurants. Jack in the Box (unchanged), Sonic (down 1%), and Wendy’s (down 4%) all have ACSI scores of 73, while McDonald’s sits at the bottom of the industry, stable at 70.

Although you might think this spells trouble for the patty pioneers, a closer look reveals that the burger experience isn’t all bad.

In its ACSI debut, Five Guys finishes near the top of the limited-service restaurant industry with a score of 78. Let’s see how this newcomer managed to outshine its fellow burger makers in its first appearance.

Five Guys offers 5-star experience with a mouth-watering burger

Five Guys outperforms the other burger chains in most customer experience benchmarks.

For starters, the fast casual burger chain has the most helpful and courteous staff. Food orders are most accurate at Five Guys, and it boasts superior restaurant layout and cleanliness.

Five Guys also stands out for store speed, reliability of mobile app, and likely the most appealing, food quality. We’re not saying it’s the best burger you’ll ever have, but some customers legitimately feel that way.

In truth, it’s easy to get behind the Five Guys way of doing burgers: The patties are fresh and made to order (no frozen patties here), there are free unlimited toppings (15 different toppings really, but that’s still pretty good), and the fries are crispy, tasty, fresh (obviously), and you get them by the boatload.

This burger joint may be in the fast food category, but make no mistake, this thing is gourmet.

Identifying the secret sauce

Although Five Guys has quickly established itself as the burger place to beat, some aspects of the customer experience do allow room for improvement.

Customers agree, for instance, that Five Guys’ mobile app, while reliable, lacks the quality of other fast food restaurants. Beverage quality and variety fall behind those of its burger brethren as well.

Five Guys also doesn’t offer as wide a variety of food. However, it’s difficult to hold this last point against them. They’re known for their burgers, and they consistently deliver excellent burgers.

Certainly, there’s something to be said for not spreading yourself out too thin. Chick-fil-A has led the fast food industry – and all restaurants – for seven straight years, and its bread and butter is chicken. Specializing seems to be working out well for them so far.

Other traditional burger places have attempted to branch out. Wendy’s launched a breakfast menu, and the brand is near the bottom in food quality and the fast food category overall (73 ACSI score). Burger King is expanding its palate with the new Ch’King sandwich, and the jury’s still out on that one. But the restaurant’s ACSI score of 76 places it below the industry average.

The lackluster performance of burger joints in this year’s Restaurant Study could be a reflection of the sheer volume of quick-service restaurants customers can now choose from. Diners have either tired of burgers altogether, or if they’re ordering one, their expectations for quality are high.

And this is where Five Guys performs well. So, while the company could choose to improve the quality of its mobile app, it will likely have no bearing on its burgers (which is all that really matters). As long as those patties remain fresh and delicious, customers should stay plenty satisfied.