How Well the Sales Staff Connects with Customers Has an Impact on Overall Satisfaction with Appliance Retailers

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Lowe's Ranks Highest in Satisfying Customers with Major Appliance Retailers for a Third Consecutive Year

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 18 July 2012 — Simple behaviors, such as greeting customers promptly when they enter an appliance retail store, may result in higher levels of customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction StudySM released today.

The study, now in its fifth year, measures customer satisfaction with the largest appliance retailers based on performance in six factors: sales staff and service; store facility; merchandise; price; delivery service; and installation service.

The study finds that while sales staff and service is the most important driver of overall customer satisfaction with an appliance retailer, there are relatively simple behaviors salespeople can perform to positively impact customer satisfaction. For example, while most customers say they are able to find sales staff to assist them, there is a larger gap across retailer performance in terms of how quickly customers are greeted. Among customers who are greeted promptly by the sales staff, satisfaction scores average 817 points on a 1,000-point scale, 32 points higher than the industry average of 785.

"What customers truly require when shopping from a retailer is an available salesperson to assist them, and that they will be courteous, knowledgeable and able to effectively demonstrate the appliance," said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the home improvement practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Interestingly, these aren't areas that typically require significant investment. It's important, however, for retailers to make sure they are hiring the right people and providing the necessary training so they can be as helpful as possible in translating customer needs when making recommendations on specific appliances and brands."

The study finds that overall satisfaction with appliance retailers has declined by 5 points from 2011, with satisfaction scores decreasing in all factors.

Lowe's ranks highest in satisfying appliance retail customers for a third consecutive year. With a score of 801, Lowe's performs particularly well in the store facility, price and delivery service factors. Following Lowe's in the rankings are hhgregg (795), which performs well in sales staff and service and merchandise, and Sears (788), which performs well in installation service.

Consumer Tips

According to the study, retailers have a lot to gain from providing a positive appliance shopping and purchase experience, as delighted customers are more likely to be loyal to that retailer not only for future appliance purchases, but also for other merchandise. J.D. Power offers the following tips for consumers shopping for kitchen and laundry appliances at a major retailer:

  • Retailers will generally match prices from competitors, so focus more on choosing the appliances and services you need and point out any price variances that the retailer may address for you.
  • On average, consumers visit a retailer two to three times prior to purchasing an appliance. It may save you time if you research both the appliances you need and the retailers beforehand so you know that the retailer you visit has the appliance you're interested in. In addition, most retailers are well positioned to show you competitive retailer pricing and discuss the benefits of shopping at their store, which may help you feel comfortable about not visiting several different retailers.
  • Make sure you receive the attention, guidance and recommendations you need to feel comfortable with your purchase. There is no need to settle for a mediocre or unpleasant experience. Plenty of retailers are looking for the opportunity to help you with your appliance purchase.

The 2012 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,100 customers who purchased a laundry or kitchen appliance within the previous 24 months from a major appliance retailer. The study was fielded between January and February 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 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 public 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 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

Media Relations Contacts:

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

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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.

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Media Contacts

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(248) 680-6218

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