While staff and service remains the most influential factor in satisfaction once customers are at a home improvement retail store, price is what drives customers to a retailer in the first place, underscoring the importance of competitive differentiation efforts via better price and value perception, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study released today.
The survey results also showed Ace Hardware at the top of the 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, followed by Menards and Lowe’s.
“For local home improvement retailers to remain competitive with big box retailers, they need to differentiate themselves through promotions, sales and overall pricing to help get customers in the door and then reinforce their decision to visit that store by providing an exceptional staff and service experience once they are there,” said Christina Cooley, director of home improvement industries at J.D. Power. “Conveying price and the value-add story is best accomplished by leveraging communications channels that customers prefer to use. This critical combination of being price competitive and providing superior service may help increase share of wallet and new customer growth.”
The study, now in its eighth year, measures customer satisfaction with home improvement retail stores based on performance in five factors (in alphabetical order): merchandise (including availability, selection of brands available, usefulness of product information displays, and variety of merchandise offered); price; sales and promotions; staff and service (including availability, courtesy, ease of checkout, ease of returning merchandise and knowledge); and store facility (including availability of parking, cleanliness of store, convenience of store location, ease of finding merchandise, and store layout and design).