Increasing proportions of home appliance owners say they choose which appliance brand to purchase first, then visit a retailer carrying that brand, rather than selecting the retailer first, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study and the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study. The extent of this shift in shopping behavior varies slightly by appliance type.
For example, the largest increase is observed among owners of ranges, cooktops and ovens. Approximately 44% of these owners in 2011 say they selected their appliance brand first, up 16% from 38% in 2010. The smallest increases occur in the clothes dryer and refrigerator segments.
Samsung Tops in Clothes Washers, Dryers
For a third consecutive year, Samsung ranks highest in satisfying clothes washer owners, achieving a score of 834 on a 1,000-point scale. Samsung performs particularly well in three of the six factors: ease of use; styling and appearance; and price. Following Samsung in the ranking are LG (827) and Kenmore Elite (825). LG performs particularly well in the warranty factor, while Kenmore Elite performs well in the features factor.
In addition, Samsung ranks highest in customer satisfaction with clothes dryers for a fourth consecutive year with a score of 830, and performs particularly well in four of the six factors: ease of use; styling and appearance; features; and price. Whirlpool Duet (829) and LG (823) follow Samsung in the ranking. Whirlpool Duet performs particularly well in the performance and reliability and features factors.
According to mystery shoppers, LG, Samsung and Whirlpool washers and dryers are recommended most often by salespersons at major US appliance retailers.
The Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction with clothes washers and dryers based on performance in six factors: ease of use; features (such as the usefulness of settings available and appliance capacity); performance and reliability (including energy efficiency, noise level and how well the appliance functions); styling and appearance; warranty; and price.
Sub-Zero Scores High in Fridge Satisfaction
Sub-Zero ranks highest in satisfying refrigerator owners with a score of 834 and performs particularly well in five of the six factors: ease of use, performance and reliability; styling and appearance; features; and warranty. Following Sub-Zero in the ranking are Samsung (820) and LG (790). Samsung performs particularly well in the price factor.
Mystery shoppers indicate that, among refrigerator brands, Samsung receives particularly high recommendation rates from major appliance retailer salespersons.
Miele Makes Dishwasher Owners Happy
Miele ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dishwashers for a second consecutive year with a score of 814 and performs particularly well in two factors: performance and reliability and warranty. Following Miele in the ranking are Fisher & Paykel (805) and Kenmore Elite (802). Fisher & Paykel performs particularly well in the styling and appearance and features factors, while Kenmore Elite performs well in the ease of use factor.
Kenmore dishwashers receive notably high rates of salesperson recommendations, according to mystery shoppers.
LG and Wolf Own Ovens
Among manufacturers of cooktops, ranges, and ovens, LG and Wolf rank highest, in a tie (804 each). This is the second consecutive year that Wolf receives an award in the cooktops/ranges/ovens segment. Wolf performs particularly well in three of the six factors: ease of use; performance and reliability; and styling and appearance. Ranking third in the segment is GE Monogram (801).
Mystery shoppers indicate that appliance retailer salespersons provide high rates of recommendations for GE ranges.
Research Returns Results
J.D. Power data shows that appliance owners who research appliance brands and/or select an appliance brand prior to visiting a retailer are notably more satisfied with their appliance than owners who don’t.
Among owners who say they researched appliance brands prior to visiting a retailer, satisfaction averages between 20 points and 34 points higher on a 1,000-point scale (depending upon the type of appliance) than among owners who didn’t perform prior research. Satisfaction among owners who select the appliance brand prior to visiting a retailer averages between 14 and 29 points higher than satisfaction among owners who selected the retailer first, then chose a brand carried by the retailer.
Traditional Info Sources Still Important
Although shopping behavior is evolving, the study also finds that more traditional sources of shopping information, the owner’s past experience with a brand, in-store product displays and recommendations from salespersons, continue to be very influential among appliance owners.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Appliance Mystery Shopping Report, many of the appliance brands that receive high overall satisfaction scores also receive particularly high proportions of strong recommendations from retail salespersons. These recommendations can significantly impact brand choice and market share, particularly when salespersons provide compelling reasons for the recommendation.
Lowe’s Leads in Appliance Satisfaction
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s ranks highest in customer satisfaction with appliance retailers for a second consecutive year, achieving a score of 807 on a 1,000-point scale., compared to an industry average of 790, according to other data released in August 2011 by J.D. Power and Associates. Lowe’s performs particularly well in four of the six factors analyzed by J.D. Power: store facility; price; delivery service; and installation service.
Following Lowe’s in the ranking are hhgregg (799) and Sears (793). Hhgregg performs particularly well in the sales staff and service and merchandise factors.
About the Data: The 2011 Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 5,600 customers who purchased clothes washers and more than 5,500 customers who purchased clothes dryers during the past 24 months. The study was fielded between March and April 2011.
The 2011 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,000 customers who purchased dishwashers, more than 4,300 customers who purchased cooktops/ranges/ovens and more than 5,000 customers who purchased refrigerators during the previous 24 months. The study was fielded between March and April 2011.
The 2011 Appliance Mystery Shopping Report compiles the findings of 600 trained mystery shoppers who performed either on-site or telephone evaluations of a major U.S. appliance retailer. The report is released quarterly; Q2 2011 results are based on evaluations collected between April and June 2011. Major appliance retailers included in the report are Best Buy, hhgregg, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears.
These reports are published by J.D. Power and Associates and are the source of the enclosed charts.