Operational Performance of Cabinets Grows In Importance

by kbetz@solagroup.com

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — While the ordering and delivery process has consistently been a leading driver of customer satisfaction with the overall cabinet experience, operational performance has increased in importance in 2013 to become equally impactful in satisfying customers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study.

The study, now in its sixth year, measures customer satisfaction with kitchen cabinets by measuring five factors: ordering and delivery (including ease of ordering, condition of products at delivery and timeliness of delivery); price; design features (such as the variety of cabinet colors/finishes and range of sizes and shapes available); operational performance (including smoothness of drawer slides and sturdiness of cabinet joinery); and warranty.

Operational performance has increased in importance by 5 percentage points from 2012, becoming equally important to satisfaction among cabinet customers as the ordering and delivery factor.

The study also finds that the manufacturer-distributor/retailer relationship is critical to providing an outstanding experience to cabinet purchasers.

“Manufacturers must rely on distributors and contractors for the ordering and delivery process—and in many cases the installation process as well—but must provide the necessary level of support and training so that everyone involved is able to properly set customer expectations and deliver on them throughout the process,” said Christina Cooley, director of the home improvement practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

Overall customer satisfaction among all brands averages 756 on a 1,000-point scale, unchanged from 2012.

Cabinet customers in 2013 are less likely to commit to a specific brand for future purchases and recommendations than in 2012, with 17 percent of customers saying they “definitely will” repurchase their brand this year, compared with 27 percent in 2012.  In addition, 25 percent of customers in 2013 say they “definitely will” recommend their brand, compared with 34 percent in 2012.  The most influential sources used by customers while shopping for cabinets are the distributor’s in-store display (24%) and recommendations from professionals (16%).   

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