Costco, LensCrafters top customer satisfaction ranking

Westlake Village, CA-Costco ranks highest in customer satisfaction among in-store mass merchandiser/department store optical departments, and LensCrafters ranks highest among specialty optical chains, according to a recent satisfaction survey.

Westlake Village, CA-Costco ranks highest in customer satisfaction among in-store mass merchandiser/department store optical departments, and LensCrafters ranks highest among specialty optical chains, according to a recent satisfaction survey.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2006 National Retail Vision Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction among specialty eyewear stores and mass merchandisers/department stores that offer optical services and eyewear. In both segments, overall satisfaction is based on six performance factors (in order of importance): eyewear purchase experience (28%), cost (27%), retail store environment (17%), choice and variety of eyewear (14%), eye exam (9%), and medical office environment (6%).

Among mass merchandiser/department store optical departments, Issaquah, WA-based Costco received the highest ratings from customers in the cost factor. Wal-Mart followed Costco in the segment rankings and received particularly high ratings from customers for the retail store environment plus the choice and variety of eyewear.

"Mass merchandisers as a group perform well in satisfying customers on cost, with the eye exam, and doctor's office environment, whereas specialty retailers overall have a slight advantage when it comes to providing more choice and variety in eyewear for customers," said David Stefan, executive director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

"Both store segments appeal to different sets of customers with varying purchase behaviors-those who shop for functionality and cost, and those who want full service and a wider variety of products to choose from," Stefan added. "There are exceptions, as some high-ranking mass merchandisers, such as Wal-Mart, also perform strongly in providing a broader array of services and products."