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issue: October 2010 ApplianceMagazine.com


Efficiency Satisfies Appliance Buyers


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The Samsung brand gave the most customer satisfaction in several major appliance categories, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Another finding: energy/water efficiency increases customer satisfaction regardless of the brand.

The 2010 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study and 2010 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power and Associates found that awareness of Energy Star certified appliances has increased among U.S. owners of new appliances since 2009 and so has the percentage who purchased an Energy Star appliance.

86% of 2010 dishwasher buyers reported buying an Energy Star certified appliance, for an increase of 5% from 2009 and a 9% increase from 2008.

Christina Cooley, senior manager of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates, credited the federal appliance rebate program with raising consumer awareness of Energy Star program. "20% fewer customers reported that they did not know if their appliance was Energy Star certified in 2010 compared to those that purchased their appliance in 2008 or 2009," she said. "Manufacturers and retailers continue to have an opportunity to tout the energy efficiency of the appliances they offer and the specific, tangible benefits tied to energy efficiency, which in turn impact customer satisfaction.”

Efficient Appliances Give Better Satisfaction

Satisfaction with appliance performance is strongly influenced by the owner’s perception of the appliance’s water and/or energy efficiency, the study found. Customers who report that their appliance is Energy Star certified are more likely to be more satisfied with their appliance than customers who do not indicate that their appliance is certified.

“The timing of the Cash for Appliances Rebate Program is great for consumers, since some may have been delaying necessary appliance purchases due to tough economic times,” said Cooley. “The combined benefits of receiving the rebate and purchasing an appliance that is energy efficient definitely helps to add value to the appliance and positively impacts the customer experience.”

Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study

The Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study measured customer satisfaction with clothes washers and dryers based on performance in six factors:
• ease of use
• features (such as the number of settings available and appliance capacity)
• performance and reliability (including energy efficiency, noise level, and how well the appliance functions)
• styling and feel
• warranty
• price

CLOTHES WASHERS: Samsung ranked highest for the second year in a row when it came to satisfying clothes washer owners, with a score of 832 on a 1000-point scale. Samsung performed particularly well in four of six factors:
• performance and reliability
• ease of use
• features
• styling

Other brands that broke the 800-point mark in the clothes washer rankings included:
• Kenmore Elite (817 points)
• Electrolux (816)
• LG (811)
• Maytag Epic (802)

CLOTHES DRYERS: Samsung scored 833 and was No. 1 in the clothes dryer rankings – the third consecutive year it's been in the top spot. J.D. Power reported that Samsung did particularly well in four of the six factors:
• performance and reliability
• ease of use
• styling
• features

Only two other brands scored more than 800 points in the study:
• LG (814 points)
• Kenmore Elite (809)

Kitchen Appliances Study

The J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study measured customer satisfaction in three product categories:
• dishwashers
• refrigerators
• cooktops/ranges/ovens

Customer satisfaction was measured based on performance in six factors:
• performance and reliability (including how well the appliance functions, noise level, and energy efficiency)
• features (such as the number of settings available and appliance capacity)
• ease of use
• styling and feel
• price
• warranty

REFRIGERATORS: Samsung – for the sixth year in a row – ranked highest in satisfying refrigerator owners with a score of 803. Samsung performed particularly well in:
• ease of use
• performance and reliability
• features.

Samsung was followed by LG (781 points) and Kenmore Elite (776 points).

DISHWASHERS: Miele ranked highest in customer satisfaction in dishwashers with a score of 806 and performed particularly well in four of the six factors:
• performance and reliability
• styling and feel
• features
• warranty

Bosch also cracked the 800-point mark, scoring 801 points.

COOKTOPS/RANGES/OVENS: Wolf ranked No. 1 in cooking appliances with a score of 812, and performed particularly well in five of six factors:
• ease of use
• performance and reliability
• styling and feel
• features
• warranty

Samsung ran a close second in this category, with a score of 809, and was the only other appliance brand to top the 800-point threshold.

The Studies

The 2010 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study was based on responses from more than 5100 consumers who purchased clothes washers and more than 5100 consumers who purchased clothes dryers from a retail store or received one through other means (such as a new-home builder or a gift) during the past 24 months. The study was fielded between March and April 2010.

The 2010 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study was based on responses from:
• 4563 consumers who purchased dishwashers
• 5493 consumers who purchased cooktops/ranges/ovens
• 5797 consumers who purchased refrigerators
Purchases were made through a retail store or the appliance was received through other means (such as a new-home builder or a gift) during the previous 24 months. The study was fielded between March and April 2010.

 

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