Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Which? shows independent kitchen showrooms could do better

Independent showrooms must be rubbing their hands at a recent Which? report on ‘The Ultimate Kitchen’ investigating ‘ from planning to fitting where to buy the best kitchen’. It found Moben and B&Q among the worst performing companies, with a ‘poor value for money’ rating and coming bottom for installation, respectively. But, just before high street showrooms become conceited, could this report actually be a double edged sword? In the very same survey of its members, Which? showed that John Lewis, IKEA and Wickes were all rated higher with its consumers than independent kitchen or DIY showrooms.  Ouch!
The kitchen companies were rated for customer service, value for money and product, and finish quality. And it’s no surprise that Which? magazine found customer service as the main factor in achieving a high customer score.  But since customer service is a value that many independent kitchen showrooms lay claim to base their business upon – here’s my question, why didn’t they score higher? Out of 2,198 Which? members questioned, over a third actually bought their kitchen from an independent business (either kitchen or DIY). Now that is great news! But these two types of company still came fourth and fifth respectively in a chart of  10 recognisable kitchen outlet names.
We all know high street specialists to be the local hero of kitchen sales, with exemplary product knowledge and advice, along with unbeatable design skills. But in knowing this, have independent kitchen showrooms become complacent? It’s certainly a shot across the bows to those who might have.

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