Report: Customer service drives retail paint sales

Westlake Village, Calif. -- Paint retailers with well-trained staffers will drive a more positive purchase experience, this according to the J.D. Power 2014 Paint Satisfaction Study.

The study, released Thursday, measured customer satisfaction with major paint retailers, including Sherwin Williams and Ace Hardware, as well as home-improvement chains such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. Satisfaction levels were based on evaluations from customers who purchased paint during the past year and were measured based on merchandise; sales and promotions; staff; store facility; and store services.

"Satisfied customers are more likely to repurchase from a paint retailer and recommend that retailer,” said Christina Cooley, director of home improvement industries at J.D. Power. “For paint retailers with lower satisfaction, there is a great opportunity to provide a differentiated retail experience to move customers toward a stronger commitment to repurchase and recommend."

For the second year in a row, Sherwin-Williams topped the customer satisfaction rankings, followed by Ace Hardware. Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menards scored average rankings, and Walmart was deemed below average.

Other key findings of the report included:

• Staff, including their availability, courtesy, paint knowledge and concern for the customer's needs, is the most important factor differentiating the customer experience and in driving customer satisfaction with paint retailers.

• Among paint retailer customers, 41% say they "definitely will" repurchase paint from their retailer, while 55% "probably will" repurchase.

• More than one-third (40%) of customers say they "definitely will" recommend their paint retailer.

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