An annual measure of customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers is following a familiar storyline again this year.
J.D. Power & Associates Wednesday morning released its 2013 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study showing Ace Hardware at the top of the list for the seventh consecutive year.
Ace Hardware achieved a score of 803 on a 1,000-point scale and performed particularly well in the staff and service and store facility factors. Menards ranks second with a score of 770, and performed particularly well in the price and sales and promotions factors, according to J.D. Power.
Lowe’s and Menards traded places on the rankings, with Menards moving to second from third.
True Value and Home Depot also swapped positions, with Home Depot falling from fifth to fourth.
The J.D. Power report pointed to two key operational findings from its survey. One is that staff and service are the most influential factor on customer satisfaction. Secondly, while sales and promotions help drive traffic to retail, customer service keeps customers loyal.
“Home improvement retailers are continually looking for alternative ways to stay competitive and gain a larger share of wallet,” said Christina Cooley, director of the home improvement industries practice at J.D. Power. “Before you can satisfy a customer, you have to create a compelling reason for them to come in the door. Once they arrive, you have many opportunities to delight them with staff assistance and store services.”