Survey Says: Builders and Remodelers Are Less Satisfied with Ordering Process

July 7th, 2011 by DWM Magazine

While builders’ and remodelers’ satisfaction with products and delivery from window and patio door manufacturers has improved, satisfaction with the ordering process has declined considerably, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Builder and Remodeler Residential Window and Patio Door Satisfaction StudySM released today.

While overall satisfaction remains stable from 2010—averaging 785 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011—there have been notable changes within the various factors, according to the study. In 2011, satisfaction with the product factor has improved, primarily due to increased satisfaction with the appearance, finish and durability of windows and patio doors. The study reports that improvements also have occurred in the price and delivery factors. Within the delivery factor, there has been a decrease in the proportion of orders that arrived with missing or incorrect parts.

However, satisfaction with the ordering process has declined significantly from 2010, tempering the gains achieved in the other factors. In particular, builders and remodelers are notably less satisfied with the availability of products and the effectiveness of the sales and marketing materials provided.

“While manufacturers are doing a good job with providing high-quality products in a timely manner, their performance in the ordering process needs to be elevated to the same levels,” says Jim Howland, senior director in the real estate industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

The study measures satisfaction with residential windows and patio doors based on responses from new-home builders and remodelers by evaluating performance in seven factors (in order of importance): product; price; warranty and repair service; delivery; customer service and support; ordering process; and credit/billing process.

Company Rankings

Simonton ranked highest among builders and remodelers in satisfaction with window and patio door manufacturers for a fourth consecutive year. The company achieved a score of 825 and performed particularly well in four of the seven factors: ordering process; delivery, warranty and repair service and price, according to the study. Following Simonton in the rankings are Marvin (812) and Pella (804). Marvin rated particularly well in the product and credit/billing process factors, while Pella ranked well in customer service and support.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Simonton once again came out on top with a score of 818. Following Simonton in the rankings are Window World (807), Champion (805) and Renewal by Andersen (801).

This part of the study measured satisfaction among customers who purchased new windows or patio doors based on performance in six factors (listed in order of importance): ordering and delivery; operational performance and durability; price; appearance and design features; warranty; and repair/replacement.

Window World also ranked high in the warranty and price factors, while Champion performed well in two factors: appearance and design features and repair and replacement. Renewal by Andersen also ranked well in the operational performance and durability and ordering and delivery factors.

What Consumers Want

The study finds that the importance customers place on weather tightness of windows and patio doors has increased from 2010, and that the proportion of customers who indicate they purchased Energy Star®-qualified windows averages 95 percent.

Overall satisfaction with windows and patio doors averages 786 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011. However, various energy-efficient window types have considerably higher levels of satisfaction: triple-pane glass (816, on average); glass-filled panels (806); low-emissivity glass (791); and dual-pane glass (790).

“Consumers are increasingly seeking the environmental and economic benefits that energy-efficient windows and patio doors offer, but since they may not know which products can meet their needs, it benefits manufacturers to highlight these products and features prominently,” says Howland.

The study also finds that nearly seven in 10 customers (69 percent) selected their window brand themselves, rather than relying on a window installer or contractor to make the decision. The information sources used most often in the shopping process include: past experience with a window brand (23 percent); recommendations from contractors (23 percent) and recommendations from family and friends (12 percent). When deciding between different window brands, customers most often consider price, recommendations, quality and previous experience with a brand.

“To some degree, reliance on the contractor as a trusted advisor on window projects may be decreasing,” says Howland.



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