Apple consistently ranks No. 1 in user loyalty and repeat business surveys, and one reason among many is the industry-leading technical support it provides its customers. Consumer Reports released the results of its latest survey of computer technical support this week and it found that Apple was ranked at the top once again. Even more impressive, perhaps, is the fact that Apple topped its score from last year, when it also lead the pack by a sizable margin.

“The company scored far higher than the other big companies for the elements that make for successful online and phone support: ease of contacting staff, clarity of advice, technical knowledge, patience, and time for follow-up,” Consumer Reports noted.

Where Windows PC vendors are concerned, Consumer Reports said there is plenty of room for improvement. “24 to 40 percent of respondents who sought phone or online help from makers of Windows-based computers said the staff’s patience, knowledge, or clarity was fair at best,” the buying guide said.