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The top three home improvement retailers for customer satisfaction are…

BY Marianne Wilson

A family-owned, regional home improvement chain is tops in customer satisfaction.

Menards ranks highest in customer satisfaction among home improvement retailers for the first time, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study. The Wisconsin-based company, which operates 300 stores in the Midwest, performs particularly well in the merchandise, price, and sales/promotions area of the study. Menards had an overall score of 836 (out of 1,000).

Ace Hardware, with a score of 832, ranks second, performing highest in staff and service. Lowe’s (828) ranks third, performing highest in merchandise and store facility. The Home Depot had a score of 818, followed by True Value, at 813. Ace Hardware had been on an 11-year run as the top scoring retailer in the study. In last year’s survey, Ace was first, Menards second, and Lowe’s third.

The J.D. Power study measures customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers by examining five factors (in alphabetical order): merchandise; price; sales and promotions; staff and service; and store facility. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.

The report also found that consumer spending on home improvement is on the rise, and is expected to increase 5.3% in 2018, to approximately $387 billion.

Here are some additional findings of the study:

The “two-minute warning”: From the time a customer enters a home improvement store, that person expects to receive assistance from a store employee within two minutes, otherwise, satisfaction begins to decline. Overall satisfaction declines significantly when a customer waits more than two minutes to have his/her question answered, compared with waiting less than two minutes (821 vs. 882, respectively).

Satisfaction drives loyalty: Among delighted customers (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and above), 80% say they “definitely will” repurchase from the retailer, compared with the study average of 48%.

Additionally, 83% of delighted home improvement retailer customers say they “definitely will” recommend the retailer to others, compared with the study average of 49%.

Delightful experience influences recommendations: Among delighted customers, the average number of positive recommendations is 4.0, compared with the study average of 2.6.

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