Retailers Lowe's ranked highest in customer satisfaction among major appliance retailers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Appliance Retailer Study.
The study measured customer satisfaction with the largest appliance retailers based on performance in six factors (listed in order of importance): sales staff, installation service, delivery service, store facility, merchandise, and price.
Lowe's achieves a score of 804 on a 1000-point scale and performed well in the installation service, delivery service, and store facility factors. H.H. Gregg (799) and Best Buy (788) followed Lowe's in the rankings. H.H. Gregg performed well in the sales staff, merchandise, and price factors.
"Although many appliance owners typically select a retailer based on the prices of appliances and having appliances in stock and available for delivery, the factors that are most important to overall satisfaction are those related to the retailer's staff and not the appliance itself," said Dale Haines, senior director of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Both Lowe's and H.H. Gregg demonstrate particular strength in providing reliable and professional sales, delivery and installation personnel."
The study found that 40% of appliance owners shopped only at the retailer from which they purchased their appliance. In addition, two-thirds of owners reported that they purchased their appliance on the first or second visit to a retailer.
"Purchasing a laundry or kitchen appliance is a major commitment -- not only in terms of money, but also of time," said Haines. "Most appliances last an average of 10 to 15 years -- and for this reason, it pays for consumers to shop at several retailers before making a purchase decision. In this hypercompetitive market, in which nearly one-third of customers make a purchase decision based on a single retailer visit, the sales staff must be knowledgeable and courteous in order to capture sales. After the purchase is made, the responsiveness of the retailer in rectifying any problems that may occur during delivery or installation can make the difference between a positive start to the ownership experience -- which can foster customer loyalty -- or one that is perceived negatively by the owner."
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