It’s a new record for household appliances – and not in a good way.
Customer satisfaction with the industry – including washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, ranges/ovens, and over-the-oven microwaves – slides 1.3% to a new all-time low score of 78 (out of 100), per our latest Household Appliance and Electronics Study.
But the bad news doesn’t stop there.
Nearly all the major brands we measured experience satisfaction slips. However, none more so than Bosch, which nosedives 6% to the bottom of the industry at 74.
How did this major appliance manufacturer go from near the top of the category to its worst-ever mark? Let’s take a look.
Earnings up, stock down
Bosch reported strong Q4 earnings, with a five-fold increase in net profits and 44% revenue growth year over year. Yet, the stock tumbled, and the company ended up making significant changes to its board.
Are we surprised? Not really.
Satisfaction is a strong indicator of an organization’s financial performance. Historically, stocks of companies with high ACSI scores perform stronger than companies with low scores.
For Bosch, the chasm between revenue growth and stock decline seemed to predict what our data now confirms: The company was struggling to keep customers satisfied.
A less-than-satisfying experience
This is the first year we measured customer experience benchmarks for household appliances. Bosch did not fare well.
From mobile quality and mobile reliability to durability and exterior design, from website satisfaction and warranty coverage to service technician courtesy and outcome of the service repair, and so on, Bosch was at or near the bottom in every single one.
Not exactly an ideal place to start. Unfortunately, as much as we’d like to say there’s nowhere to go but up, that’s not entirely true.
Appliance and chip shortages remain problematic
COVID-19 brought about a national appliance shortage, and it’s not going away.
According to one retailer, his three top-rated dishwashers were on back order were four months. Can you guess the manufacturer? If you said Bosch for all three, congratulations, come up and collect your prize.
The global chip shortage is also wreaking havoc. According to BSH – maker of Bosch appliances – some products are facing lead times of up to six months.
In the end, the consumers are going to end up suffering the most, as they can expect higher prices and longer wait times for the appliances they want.
What’s Bosch’s next move?
If Bosch is hoping for a cure-all for its satisfaction woes, it’s out of luck.
The appliance manufacturer has a lot of ground to make up, and until this chip shortage gets sorted out, it could be years before production fully recovers.
The only silver lining – if you can call it that – is that other household appliance companies are in a similar boat. This year, GE Appliances (Haier) slides 3% to 78, while Whirlpool hits an all-time satisfaction low after dropping 3% to a score of 77.
Sure, Bosch is firmly planted at the bottom of the industry. But the consumers have spoken and laid out their expectations. It’s now up to Bosch to clean up its mess.