American Customer Satisfaction Index, 1994 (ICPSR 3973)

Version Date: Dec 15, 2005 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Claes Fornell, University of Michigan Business School. National Quality Research Center


Version V1

These data are unavailable indefinitely from ICPSR.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a uniform and independent measure of household consumption experience. The ACSI tracks trends in customer satisfaction and provides valuable benchmarking insights into the consumer economy for companies, industry trade associations, and government agencies. It is based on modeling of customer evaluations of the quality of goods and services that are purchased in the United States and produced by both domestic and foreign firms that have substantial United States market shares. The ACSI model is a set of causal equations that link customer expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value to customer satisfaction. In turn, satisfaction is linked to consequences as defined by customer complaints and customer loyalty -- measured by price tolerance and customer retention. Customer expectations combine customers' experiences with a product or service and information about it via media, advertising, salespersons, and word-of-mouth. Customer expectations influence the evaluation of quality and forecast how well the product or service will perform. Perceived quality of a product or service is measured through questions on its overall quality, reliability, and the extent to which it meets the customer's needs. Perceived value is measured through questions on overall price given quality and overall quality given price. Customer complaints activity is measured as the percentage of respondents who reported a problem with the measured companies' product or service within a specified time frame. Satisfaction has an inverse relationship to customer complaints. Customer loyalty is measured through questions on the likelihood that customers will purchase a company's products or services at various price points. The ACSI is produced through a partnership of the University of Michigan Business School, the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and the international consulting firm, CFI Group. Background variables include age, education, number of family members, Hispanic origin, race, household income, sex, industry, and sector of the economy.

Fornell, Claes. American Customer Satisfaction Index, 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-12-15.

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American Society for Quality (N004885), CFI Group USA, LLC

This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect the data safety, a data set with the variable, company ID, is restricted from general dissemination. To obtain the restricted data file, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement in accordance with existing ICPSR servicing policies.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1994-05 -- 1994-09

For additional information, including related publications, visit the ACSI Web site at

Households were selected by random-digit dialing. Within households, the respondent selected was the adult with nearest birthday to date of interview who had purchased or consumed specific products and services within specified, recent time periods varying from three months to three years according to the product or service. The selected adult was interviewed to screen him/her for purchase and use of specific goods and services to qualify as customer eligible for interview. The probability sample selected to represent the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for each company is based on approximately 250 customer interviews.

American consumers aged 18 to 84 living in households with telephones in the continental United States.


telephone interviews

survey data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Fornell, Claes. American Customer Satisfaction Index, 1994. ICPSR03973-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004.

2005-12-15 On 2005-08-15 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-12-15 to reflect these additions.

2004-08-06 Corporate subscribers and major corporate and federal agency sponsors have been added to FUNDING.AGENCY1 field. SAMPLING field has been modified.