The J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study found that although aesthetics and functionality are appealing to consumers when selecting new kitchen cabinets, different cabinetry brands stand out when consumers consider the shopping and purchase process.
The study measures customer satisfaction with kitchen cabinets by measuring five factors: design features, ordering and delivery, price and warranty. According to the study, one-third of customers depend on retailers when shopping for kitchen cabinets, noting in-store product displays, sales staff recommendations and retailer website
"While the majority of customers indicate purchasing their kitchen cabinets through a retailer and not directly from the manufacturer, a key opportunity for manufacturers to differentiate their brand is through their in-store displays," said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the home improvement practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Manufacturers have the opportunity to communicate their brand value to potential customers by showcasing the brand's function and style offerings."
For example, some brands have seized the opportunity to position themselves as "green," according to Cooley. The study found that these cabinet brands that promote sustainability have the highest overall customer satisfaction and consumers are also willing to pay more for these environmentally friendly products. A quarter (25 percent) of customers who purchased kitchen cabinets said they were aware of "green" accreditation programs for manufacturers.
Ordering and delivery remained the most influential factor contributing to overall satisfaction among kitchen cabinet customers. On average, it took 18 days for customers to receive all pieces/parts of their entire order, and 14 percent of customers said their cabinets were damaged upon delivery.
"It is not surprising that brands with customers who indicate having a more difficult ordering process or issues with receiving their cabinets late or damaged end up being more negatively viewed by their customers, even if the manufacturer wasn't directly involved in those processes," said Cooley. "For this reason, it's critical that the manufacturers work closely with their distribution channels to ensure a positive customer experience."
Among cabinet manufacturer brands, Ikea ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction for the first time in the study with a score of 776 on a 1,000-point scale. Following Ikea in the rankings are American Woodmark (767) and Thomasville (763).
The 2012 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 900 customers who purchased kitchen cabinets within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in January and February 2012. The full study can be read at www.jdpower.com/content/press-release/utokXSZ/2012-u-s-kitchen-cabinet-satisfaction-study.htm.
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