The major appliance industry continues to lead other business sectors when it comes to customer satisfaction, and within white goods, Whirlpool, GE and Maytag continue to outpace the pack.
That’s the word according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a national economic indicator of satisfaction with the quality of products and services available to U.S. household consumers.
Produced by the University of Michigan Business School in partnership with the American Society for Quality and CFI Group, the ACSI ranks customer satisfaction for a range of industries on a zero-to-100 scale based on a multi-equation econometric model and customer interviews with upward of 10,000 consumers.
According to the ACSI’s second-quarter report, the majap industry’s total score fell 2 percent to 80, which is still among the highest ACSI scores of any industry.
By comparison, the video business (makers of TVs and DVD players) scored an 81, the automotive industry scored an 80, and the PC industry scored a 74.
From a competitive perspective, there was little differentiation among the top three manufacturers, the index showed, with market-share leader Whirlpool, second-place GE, and third-ranked Maytag are all tied at the top of the industry at 81. Whirlpool declined slightly by 2 percent; GE was up 2 percent, and Maytag remained unchanged.
Indeed, Maytag’s score of 81 has not changed in three years and marks a low for the company, which has been reducing its labor force and taking other cost-cutting measures as its sales, market share and stock price slid. According to Prof. Claes Fornell, director of the National Quality Research Center and the University of Michigan Business School, a successful merger with Whirlpool would strengthen the latter’s hold on the No. 1 position in the industry, giving the combined entity nearly twice the share of GE in the majap market.
The decline in the white-goods industry was mostly due to a 4 percent drop in the “all others” category of appliance manufacturers, which includes such companies as Electrolux, LG and Haier, Fornell explained.
Major Appliance Customer Satisfaction Scores*