Home Depot and Lowe’s can’t touch Ace for satisfied customers
We’ve heard this news before. J.D. Power announced this week that consumers have ranked Ace Hardware as being highest for customer satisfaction among home improvement stores for the tenth straight year.
The study, which included responses from nearly 3,000 consumers who purchased products or services from home improvement outlets over the past year, found that in particular Ace excelled in the areas of staff and service as well as “store facility”. The survey asks respondents to grade retailers based on areas that include merchandise, price, sales and promotions, store facility, staff and service.
“Given the impressive list of retailers with which we compete, in no way do we take our tenth consecutive J.D. Power award for granted,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation, in a statement. “My grateful and sincere thanks goes to the consumers who have honored us with this award, the Ace team who never ceases to amaze me and most importantly, our frontline, red-vested heroes who so passionately serve our customers.”
According to J.D. Power’s findings, speed is the key to customer service excellence in home improvement stores. Customers expect to receive help within two minutes of entering a store. In fact, based on the survey’s index, customer satisfaction levels drop from 850 to 782 if they are not greeted within two minutes. From there, customer satisfaction levels drop even lower if the answer to their question takes more than two minutes.
“Most often customers initially need help locating a product or have a question about the product,” said Greg Truex, senior director of the at-home practice at J.D. Power, in a statement. “Retailers that train their employees to engage with customers proactively and assist them are more likely to provide them with a satisfying experience during these moments of truth.”
Mr. Truex emphasized the need for stores to have appropriate levels of staff on hand to assist customers, particularly on weekends when customer counts rise dramatically.
Ace’s reputation for service has become so renowned that the company has sought to monetize its value by marketing it to other organizations. Last year, Ace launched its Center of Excellence, a division created to help other businesses and groups improve their customer experiences using the home improvement company’s approach. Ace offers keynote speeches and workshops to help others create their own cultures of excellence.
- Ace Hardware Ranks Highest In Customer Satisfaction By J.D. Power Ten Years In A Row – Ace Hardware/PRNewswire
- Ace Hardware Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retailers For a 10th Consecutive Year – J.D. Power
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why do you think Ace Hardware stores, most owned by co-op members, continually lead the pack when it comes to customer service within the home improvement channel? What would Ace need to do to supplant Home Depot and Lowe’s at the top of the home improvement pack?