Customer Satisfaction with Major Appliance Retailers Hinges More on Sales, Delivery and Installation Service than on Facilities, Merchandise and Price

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Lowe's Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Major Appliance Retailers for a Second Consecutive Year

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 3 August 2011 -- Service-related aspects of major appliance retailers--including sales, delivery and installation services--are slightly more important to overall satisfaction than facility, product and price, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with the largest appliance retailers based on performance in six factors: sales staff and service; store facility; merchandise (i.e., variety of brands/models offered and availability of merchandise and product information); price, delivery service; and installation service.

Combined, the importance weights of the sales staff and service; delivery service; and installation service factors slightly exceed the combined importance of the store facility, merchandise and price factors (51% vs. 49%, respectively). Courtesy of the sales staff is the most important aspect within the sales staff and service factor, while courtesy of delivery personnel is the most important element of delivery service.

"Appliance retailers often try to compete on price and merchandise, but the main differentiator when it comes to satisfaction is having knowledgeable and courteous staff available to assess and help meet customer needs," said Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate and construction practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

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. Lowe's performs particularly well in four of the six factors: 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.

The highest-ranking appliance retailer brands demonstrate particular strength in certain key operational metrics, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Appliance Mystery Shopping Report.SM

  • Sales staff at hhgregg, Lowe's and Sears each perform better than average in quickly providing assistance to mystery shoppers.
  • Over the telephone, staff at Lowe's and Sears perform well in assessing customer needs, and are more likely than staff at other retailers to ask about the customer's budget and appliance use habits.
  • Staff at Lowe's are more likely than staff at other retailers to mention their brand's store advantages to telephone mystery shoppers.
  • Retailers hhgregg and Sears have the highest ratings for salesperson personality (ratings of excellent/truly exceptional).

The 2011 Appliance Retailer Study is based on responses from more than 4,400 customers who purchased a laundry or kitchen appliance within the previous 24 months from a major appliance retailer. 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.

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
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy.  With leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries.  Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion.  Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

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. /corporate

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