J.D. Power and Associates and McGraw-Hill Construction Reports: Marvin Windows and Doors and Simonton Windows Rank High in Satisfaction

Marvin Windows and Doors ranked highest in satisfying architects with residential windows and doors and Simonton (SBR) Windows ranked highest in satisfying builders and remodelers with residential windows and patio doors. This is according to the J.D. Power and Associates/McGraw-Hill Construction 2006 Residential Window and Patio Door Architect Satisfaction StudySM released earlier this week.

The inaugural study is designed to provide comprehensive information to assist window and patio door manufacturers in their efforts to improve customer satisfaction according to.

Overall architect satisfaction is based on performance in six factors. They are (in order of importance): features and design (28 percent); performance (19 percent); sales and marketing support (19 percent); architectural design support (17 percent); warranty (9 percent); and price (9 percent).

Marvin received the highest ratings in four of the most heavily weighted satisfaction factors: features and design, performance, sales and marketing and architectural design support. Marvin is followed in the rankings by Pella.
Overall builder and remodeler satisfaction is based on performance in seven factors. They are (in order of importance): product (25 percent); warranty and repair service (25 percent); delivery (14 percent); price (11 percent); sales and marketing support (10 percent); placing orders (9 percent); and credit/billing (7 percent).

Simonton received the highest ratings in four satisfaction factors: warranty and repair service, delivery, price and placing orders. Simonton is followed in the rankings by CertainTeed and Marvin in a tie, Andersen, Milgard and Pella, respectively.

"Product and warranty and repair service together account for 50 percent of overall satisfaction, which are two areas that reflect directly on builders and remodelers from the standpoint of homeowners," said Jim Howland, senior director of the real estate industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "An average of only 5 percent of respondents say they purchase residential doors and windows exclusively from one manufacturer. Clearly there are many good substitutes available to builders and remodelers, so excellent customer service and product differentiation are critical to maintaining and expanding market share."

The study found that customer satisfaction plays a significant role in creating customer advocates among new-home builders and remodelers. Manufacturers that received an average index score of 806-the study average-on a 1,000-point scale received an average of 7.5 recommendations from customers. An increase of 30 index points led to an additional 0.4 recommendations given out.

"Competition is fierce in the residential windows and doors market, so recommendations from home builders and remodelers can have a significant impact on a manufacturer's bottom line," said Burleigh Morton, senior director of research and analytics at McGraw-Hill Construction. "Providing outstanding performance in the areas that are most important from the point of view of customers can lead to greater levels of loyalty, and ultimately to an improved bottom line as manufacturers builder a larger and increasingly loyal customer base."

The study found that superior customer satisfaction leads to greater customer loyalty in terms of both a willingness to specify the manufacturer again and to make recommendations to others. Among architects rating a window and patio door manufacturer a "10" on a 10-point scale, 88 percent say they "definitely will" recommend their company specify the manufacturer again. Loyalty drops dramatically when satisfaction declines.

Additionally, the occurrence of problems can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. The study examined three types potential problem areas in the relationship builders and remodelers have with the window supplier: timeliness (products arriving on time), order accuracy and billing. Of these, timeliness of product delivery had the greatest impact on overall satisfaction. Customers who did not receive their order when expected report significantly lower scores on average, than those who did receive products on time.

The 2006 Residential Window and Patio Door Builder and Remodeler Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 2,343 new-home builders and remodelers. Each respondent evaluated up to two manufacturers of residential windows and patio doors.

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