While Personal Experience Influences Their Shopping Approach, Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Customers Purchase Based on Price

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John Deere Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 30 August 2012 — Customers use personal experience and recommendations when they shop for a walk-behind lawn mower, but many purchase based on price, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Satisfaction ReportSM released today.

The report measures customer satisfaction with walk-behind lawn mowers by examining six key factors (listed in order of importance): durability; ease of operating; performance; ease of maintenance; competitiveness of price paid; and warranty. The report is designed to provide information that helps customers with purchase decisions, as well as to assist lawn mower manufacturers in their efforts to improve customer satisfaction.

When shopping for a walk-behind lawn mower, 53 percent of customers cite past experience with lawn mowers as their primary source of information, followed by recommendations from a friend or family member (30%) and the in-store display (29%). However, 67 percent of customers say price was the most important consideration when selecting their walk-behind lawn mower.  Brand reputation was the second most important consideration, cited by 61 percent of customers. 

Only 16 percent of those considering a walk-behind lawn mower visited the manufacturer's website and 14 percent viewed the retailer's website before making their purchase.  In addition, only 18 percent used advertising as a resource in their shopping process. 

"Heavy reliance on past experience and recommendations shows that, in most cases, customers start the shopping process with a small number of brands in mind," said Sara Wong Hilton, a director at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, when actually making the purchase, price is what ultimately sways their decision on which brand and model they select."

The report finds that among walk-behind lawn mower owners, nine in 10 say they "definitely will" or "probably will" recommend their lawn mower to a friend, relative or colleague. This high rate of advocacy may be explained by the 89 percent of owners who experienced zero problems with their walk-behind lawn mower.

John Deere ranks highest in satisfying owners of walk-behind lawn mowers, achieving a score of 859 (on a 1,000-point scale). John Deere performs particularly well in three of six factors: durability, ease of maintenance and warranty. Toro (858) and Troy-Bilt (852) follow John Deere in the rankings. Toro achieves a particularly high score in performance while Troy-Bilt performs particularly well in ease of operating and competitiveness of price paid.

J.D. Power and Associates offers the following lawn mower shopping and ownership tips to consumers:

  • Before beginning the shopping process, consider your budget and the size of your lawn. If your lawn is larger than one-third of an acre, you'll likely want to consider a riding lawn mower. Also, make sure you have a place to store your new mower, preferably indoors or under cover.
  • If you're buying online, make sure to include shipping costs in the price of your new mower. Electric mowers will be less expensive to ship because they are lighter and smaller. Also, consider shopping at a lawn mower dealer, rather than a big-box retailer. Dealers generally have a higher level of expertise in both sales and service.
  • Look for end-of-season deals. As summer draws to a close, many stores are looking to clear out unsold inventory. If you shop around, you may find a great deal on a new mower for next year.
  • If you're having difficulty getting your mower started after a long period of non-use (following winter, for example), consider replacing the gasoline, or, when storing it for long periods or at the beginning of winter, add a fuel stabilizer. Also, change the oil and air filter, sharpen the blades and have your mower serviced regularly, just as you would your car or truck.

The 2012 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Satisfaction Report is based on responses from more than 800 owners who purchased a new lawn mower within the past 12 months. Invitations to participate in the online survey were sent via e-mail to online panelists in August 2012. J.D. Power and Associates received completed questionnaires through August 15, 2012.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com

Follow us on Twitter: @JDPower

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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Media Contacts

Troy, Michigan
(248) 680-6218
Westlake Village, California
(805) 418-8103