While the operational performance of cabinets is still critical, a smooth ordering and delivery process is essential to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power "2014 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study."
The study, now in its eighth year, measures customer satisfaction with kitchen cabinets by measuring five factors (in alphabetical order), design features (such as the variety of cabinet colors/finishes and range of sizes and shapes available), operational performance (including smoothness of drawer slides and sturdiness of cabinet joinery), ordering and delivery (including ease of ordering, condition of products at delivery and timeliness of delivery), price and warranty.
IKEA ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among cabinet brands, with a score of 789 on a 1,000-point scale. IKEA performs particularly well in two of the five factors. Following IKEA in the rankings are American Woodmark (770) and Thomasville (769).
Other key findings from the study:
• On average, customers spend approximately $4,756 on their new kitchen cabinets, up by 14% from 2013.
• Customers have purchased more cabinet units, on average, in 2014 than in 2013 (17 versus 12, respectively).
• Nearly half (40%) of customers indicate installing their cabinets themselves.
• Among cabinet customers, 33% say they “definitely will” recommend their cabinet brand to others, compared with 25% in 2013, and 27% say they “definitely will” purchase the same brand again, compared with 17% in 2013.
“The condition of the cabinets upon delivery is the most important driver of the delivery process, followed by timeliness,” said Christina Cooley, director of the home improvement practice at J.D. Power. “Manufacturers can increase satisfaction by focusing beyond just the cabinets themselves to paying particular attention to how customers’ expectations are set in the shopping and purchase process and then ensuring the brand delivers all the way through to installation.”