Customer Service Creates Strong Performance

With the price of lumber hitting record highs and supply chain challenges still limiting available stock of lawn and garden supplies and other seasonal goods, U.S. home improvement retailers should be struggling to keep customers happy. However, the J.D. Power ‘2022 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study’ says customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers has never been higher. The key to that strong performance is helpful staff and great in-store customer service. Overall U.S. customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers is 849 (on a 1,000-point scale), up a significant 22 points from the 2021 study. Staff and service drive the largest spread in scores with the top-performing retailers setting themselves apart by outperforming on staff and service metrics. Customers note product knowledge, courtesy of sales staff, and availability of staff as key drivers of strong performance. The study finds that the longer a customer waits to be approached by a sales associate, the lower their satisfaction score. The average wait has increased to 6.1 minutes in 2022 from 5.6 minutes in 2021. The highest-performing retailers have established a best-in-class benchmark of assisting customers in less than five minutes. Additionally, big box stores showed significant improvement this year. Although Ace Hardware continues its long streak of highest-ranked performance in the home improvement retailer category, the home improvement big box stores saw the biggest year-over-year gains in customer satisfaction.