Although Ease of Use Is of Primary Importance in Satisfaction with Lawn Mowers, Fewer than One in 10 Owners Factor It into Their Purchase Decision

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Honda Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers for a Third Consecutive Year

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 27 April 2011 -- Although lawn mower ease of use is the most important element contributing to overall satisfaction, more than 90 percent of owners indicate ease of use is not their primary consideration when making their purchase decision, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower StudySM released today.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with walk-behind lawn mowers by examining six key factors (listed in order of importance): ease of use, durability, performance, maintenance, price and warranty. The study 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 and brand loyalty.

The study finds that, in 2011, only 8 percent of walk-behind lawn mower owners say that they based their purchase decision on the mower's ease of use, which includes how easy the mower is to start; push and propel; how well the mower maneuvers in difficult spaces; ease of bagging cut grass; and ease of adjusting controls. Price, past experience with a brand and brand reputation are cited most frequently as primary purchase considerations.

Honda ranks highest in satisfying customers with walk-behind lawn mowers for a third consecutive year, achieving a score of 796 on a 1,000-point scale. Honda performs particularly well in five of six factors: ease of use, durability, performance, maintenance and warranty. John Deere (772) and Husqvarna (751) follow Honda in the rankings. Husqvarna performs particularly well in the price factor.

"The lawn mower brands that perform highest in overall satisfaction are also those that are rated highest for ease of use," said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Lawn mower shoppers basing their decision on past experience are indirectly factoring in ease of use into selecting a brand.  If the mower that the customer is replacing wasn't easy to use, other manufacturers definitely have the opportunity to attract and capture that customer by touting the features that make their mowers easy to use."

The study finds that lawn mower owners use their mowers approximately 15 times per year, on average.  Not unexpectedly, the study also finds that customers who are more satisfied with their mower's ease of use are likely to use the mower on a more frequent basis.

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

  • When selecting a lawn mower brand, consider the size of the yard and what you intend to do with the cut grass.  A mower that might be easy to use with a small yard may not meet the needs of an owner with a large yard.  Also, shoppers should be aware of the features of the lawn mower models they are considering and make sure the mower they select enables them to dispose of the cut grass in the easiest and preferred way, whether it be discharging, mulching or bagging.
  • Proper maintenance is key to attaining long-term satisfaction with a lawn mower and ensuring continued ease of use.  Mowers should be serviced at least once a year, including performing an oil change, changing filters and spark plugs and sharpening the blade.

The 2011 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Study is based on responses from more than 2,030 owners who purchased a new lawn mower within the past 24 months and who have used their lawn mower a minimum of four times. The study was fielded between March and April 2011.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions.  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.  Leading brands include 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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