Study: Ace ranks highest in customer satisfaction among home-improvement chains

Westlake Village, Calif. For the fourth consecutive year, Ace Hardware ranks highest in customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with home-improvement stores, based on performance in five factors: merchandise; price; sales and promotions; staff and service; and store facility. Ace Hardware had a score of 791 on a 1,000-point scale and performs particularly well in two factors: staff and service and store facility. True Value (779), Menards (761) and Lowe’s (759) follow Ace Hardware in the rankings.

The results of the study indicate that home-improvement retailers that are customer-focused are better able to attract and retain loyal customers who might have otherwise shopped at a more conveniently located retailer.

"As customers continue to take on projects themselves instead of hiring someone and with spending in the home-improvement retail market beginning to increase, being known for providing superior customer service may translate directly to the bottom line,” said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

While the convenience of the store location is often the main reason for shopping at a specific home-improvement retailer, Ace Hardware and True Value have been able to differentiate themselves and draw larger proportions of customers due to perceptions of good customer service, compared with other major home-improvement retailers, the study found.