Simonton windows rank high in customer satisfaction

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — Touting energy-efficient features may help window and patio door manufacturers raise customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction StudySM released today.

Now in its fifth year, the study measures 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. Customers may have installed the windows or patio doors themselves or with help from family and friends; hired an independent contractor, handyman or remodeler; used an installation service provided by a home improvement retailer; or used an installation service recommended or provided by the product manufacturer.

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, demonstrating the strong awareness of that program in the minds of consumers and customers alike. In addition to having high levels of importance and awareness among consumers, energy-efficient window features and technologies help raise customer satisfaction levels.

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,” said Jim Howland, senior director in the real estate industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

Simonton ranks highest among customers in satisfaction with windows and patio doors, achieving a score of 818. Following Simonton in the rankings are Window World (807), Champion (805), and Renewal by Andersen (801). Window World performs particularly well in the warranty and price factors, while Champion performs well in two factors: appearance and design features and repair and replacement. Renewal by Andersen performs particularly well in the operational performance and durability and ordering and delivery factors.

The study also finds that nearly seven in 10 customers (69%) 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%); recommendations from contractors (23%) and recommendations from family and friends (12%). 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,” said Howland. “Increasingly, customers are using information sources such as online reviews and product websites, rather than seeking advice from a professional. Manufacturers that focus on making product features and benefits clear to the customer may be better able to differentiate themselves.”

J.D. Power and Associates offers the following tips to consumers shopping for windows and patio doors:
? Customers indicate air leaks and broken seals are two of the most aggravating problems with windows, as they compromise weather tightness and energy efficiency. These problems are mainly due to poor or
broken sealing of the windows. Check window warranties to see what the dealer or manufacturer will
cover, and for how long. Also ask what recourse you have if something goes wrong.
? Investigate air leakage ratings, which some manufacturers provide to help you understand the degree of air-tightness of windows and patio doors.
? In order to maintain the air-tightness of your windows following installation, check out the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding sealing and caulking. Your retailer or dealer should be able to
help you find out what the recommended procedure is.

The 2011 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 2,600 customers who purchased new windows or patio doors during the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in March and April 2011.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. With leading brands including Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion.

SOURCE: J.D. Power and Associates

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