21 Dec The Role of Customer Experience on Satisfaction with Home Improvement Products
Path Velocity recently conducted an online survey of 1,125 US homeowners to examine the impact of customer experience and personalization on overall satisfaction with building and home improvement products. In addition to owning a home, respondents had either purchased a building or home improvement product in the prior 36 months or planned to purchase one within 18 months from 14 product categories. The survey was designed to explore several aspects of customer experience and personalization explicitly related to this product category.
The Impact of Customer Experience
The survey examined the impact of experiences across the customer lifecycle for a building or home improvement product from the perspective of the buyer or homeowner. These were the experiences studied:
- Researching and finding information on the product
- Comparing similar or competitive products and brands
- Getting questions answered about the product, pricing, installation, warranty, etc.
- Finding and choosing the product retailer or contractor
- Ordering and purchasing the product
- The product installation
- Learning how to use or maintain the product
- The day-to-day use and performance of the product
- Returning or replacing the product
- Getting support or service from the retailer or contractor
- Getting support or service from the product manufacturer
Key Finding: The customer experience of comparing home improvement products & brands and getting questions answered has greater or equal impact on homeowner satisfaction than the product performance, installation, or customer support/service. Therefore to maximize customer satisfaction, building product professionals and manufacturers should prioritize CX improvement efforts on these high-impact, early stage experiences which may also have lower investment thresholds to achieve results.
The Impact of Personalization
The survey studied the level of homeowner interest in personalized experiences with home improvement products and the impact of these nine specific personalized experiences on customer satisfaction.
- Personalized product information, comparisons, & buyer guides
- Personalized product recommendations & suggestions
- Personalized decor ideas, “how-to”, & inspiration
- Personalized coupons, discounts, & rewards
- Personalized quizzes, polls, & contests
- Personalized product estimators, planners, & design tools
- Personalized alerts & messages
- Personalized self-service (online chat, virtual assistants, social sites)
- Personalized product features & customization
Key Finding: Three out of four homeowners are interested in personalized experiences with home improvement products, and more importantly one in four are “very to extremely interested.” Also, personalized offers and product information were found to have a greater impact on homeowner satisfaction than personalizing or customizing the product itself. And the more typically used personalized alerts & messages only impacts satisfaction with one out of four homeowners. Building product professionals should consider personalizing their existing “Coupon, Discount, or Reward” initiatives — which scored highest among respondents — to drive sales while also further maximizing customer satisfaction.
Data Sharing for Personalized Experiences
The availability of consumer data is necessary to successfully deliver any personalized customer experience. Respondents were surveyed on which of the following 11 types of consumer data they would share for a personalized experience:
- Name, address, and contact Info
- Past purchases
- Products and content viewed on websites
- Service and support history
- Decor and design preferences (colors, styles, finishes, etc.)
- Demographic information (age, sex, marital status, etc.)
- Communication preferences (email, text, phone, social)
- Mobile phone information (number, location data, app usage)
- Home information (age of home, style, size, # of rooms, etc.)
- Family member information (spouse, partner, children, pets)
- Utility information (gas, electric, or water usage)
Key Finding: Four out of ten homeowners will share home information & décor preferences for a personalized experience while only one out of ten will share their family member or mobile phone information. Therefore, building product professionals should design customer experiences that leverage home and décor data while avoiding anything that requires the buyer to share data related to their family or mobile phone.
Attributes for Satisfying Customer Experiences
What makes a satisfying customer experience? This question was explored by studying the level of importance respondents placed on these 13 attributes (as defined herein) for a satisfying experience with a home improvement product.
- Accurate: has no mistakes or errors.
- Effective: meets my specific needs.
- Efficient: is provided in a timely and efficient manner.
- Responsive: is responsive to my questions, requests, and concerns.
- Convenient: is available when and where it is convenient for me.
- Proactive: anticipates my needs.
- Engaging: is interesting and involves me throughout.
- Consistent: is consistent each time I have it.
- Innovative: includes new and cutting-edge ideas and processes.
- Easy: is easy to complete.
- Helpful: provides help when needed.
- Logical: uses common sense, is rational and logical.
- Professional: is professional, competent and polished.
Key Finding: More than twice as many homeowners are satisfied by “Effective,” “Convenient,” “Efficient,” & “Easy” experiences versus those that are “Proactive,” “Innovative,” and “Engaging.” Building product professionals and manufacturers should consider these attributes not only when designing new experiences but more importantly when messaging or marketing about them to prospects and customers.
Where Homeowners Share Their Satisfaction
Measuring the impact of your CX efforts and gauging overall levels of customer satisfaction is critical to ongoing success. The survey examined where buyers share their satisfaction with home improvement products across the following ten social platforms and review sites.
- Consumer Review Sites
- Retailer Sites
- Product Manufacturer Sites
Key Finding: Homeowners are six times more likely to share their satisfaction with a building or home improvement product on Retailer Websites, Consumer Review Sites, and Facebook versus sharing it on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Houzz. So when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction, building product professionals should closely monitor these highly ranked sites and place less emphasis on the social sites noted.
Get Your Copy of the Report
If you would like to explore all the survey data along with additional insights and findings, please download a free copy of Path Velocity’s Customer Experience & Home Improvement Products Report here: Download the Report
About Path Velocity
Path Velocity is a consultancy focused on accelerating the Path-to-Purchase with an integrated offering of Customer Experience Strategy & Design, Content Marketing, and Marketing Automation. We create rapid growth in customer satisfaction and sales by personalizing experiences at the most pivotal moments within a customer journey. Our client history includes IBM, Procter & Gamble, Deloitte, The Home Depot, AT&T, and other market leaders. If you would like to learn more about Path Velocity and our services, please visit www.PathVelocity.com or contact Doug Breuer at firstname.lastname@example.org; 770-751-8003
The survey was conducted using Survey Monkey’s Audience panel from May 25-29, 2017. 881 of the respondents had purchased a building or home improvement product in the prior 36 months, and 708 of the respondents planned to purchase a product within 18 months. At a 95% confidence level, a margin of sample error of +/- 3.2% applies. Figures for gender and geography were weighted where necessary to match their actual proportions in the population. Products categories included the following:
- Paints or Stains
- Major Appliances (refrigerator, stove/oven, dishwasher, washer, dryer)
- Faucets (kitchen, bath, bar)
- Flooring (carpet, laminate, vinyl, wood, tile)
- Bath Fixtures (sinks, toilets, tubs)
- Doors (exterior, interior, patio)
- HVAC Systems (furnace, air conditioning, heatpump)
- Roofing (shingles, tiles, metal)
- Closet or Organizational Systems
- Windows (vinyl, wood, fiberglass)
- Countertops/Surfaces (laminate, quartz, solid surface, stone)
- Cabinets (kitchen, bath, laundry, garage)
- Outdoor Decking (composite, PVC, wood)
- Siding (vinyl, fiber cement, wood)