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The Lawn Mower Goodness of John Deere

John Deere Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Lawn Mowers in Inaugural Study

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - John Deere ranks highest in satisfying customers with walk-behind lawn mowers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Study.

The inaugural study measures customer satisfaction with walk-behind lawn mowers by examining four key factors (listed in order of importance): performance (including engine power, ease of starting and cutting effectiveness); maintenance (including durability and routine maintenance demands); warranty and price. The study is designed to provide information that helps customers with purchase decisions, as well as to assist lawn mower manufacturers in their efforts to improve customer satisfaction.

Among the 13 brands ranked in the study, John Deere ranks highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 790 on a 1,000-point scale, demonstrating strong performance in three of four factors: performance, maintenance and warranty. Honda (778) and Toro (766) follow John Deere in the rankings and also perform consistently well in the most important factors driving satisfaction.

Very few walk-behind lawn mower owners - less than one in 10 - report experiencing a problem with their lawn mower. However, the incidence of problems varies widely from brand to brand. Among those owners who experience a problem, the three most common problem areas are the starting mechanism, the engine, and the drive system.

"A walk-behind lawn mower needs to be durable, dependable and effective at maintaining a yard, and the John Deere mowers definitely are," said Michael Drago director for the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "In particular, John Deere mowers have a notably low rate of reported problems. In fact, owners of other brands are at least twice as likely to experience problems than are owners of John Deere mowers."

The study also finds that owners of gas-powered and electric walk-behind lawn mowers have satisfaction scores that are nearly commensurate - averaging 742 and 737, respectively.

"One of the first decisions customers must make in considering a walk-behind lawn mower is whether a gas powered or electric model is right for them," said Drago. "Although each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, the overall satisfaction for the two product types is relatively similar."

The study finds that whether they are considering a gas-powered or electric lawn mower, many customers cite price as the most important consideration in their selection.

"Shoppers should keep in mind that not all walk-behind lawn mowers are equal, and may wish to consider investing more in their purchase if they are seeking a product that lasts longer and is more reliable over time," said Drago. "Rather than choosing a mower solely on price, customers should also consider the performance and features of products within their price range. In addition, customers may also want to investigate starting reliability when making their purchase decisions. After all, even the most powerful mower available won't meet customer needs if the customer has difficulty starting it."

The 2008 Lawn Mower Study is based on responses from more than 2,220 consumers who purchased a new lawn mower within the past 12 months. The study was fielded in June and July 2008.


Posted on September 17, 2008

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