Voice of the customer: Air conditioner study analyzes preferences

Listening to the voice of the customer is a strategic step to companies understanding what these customers are looking for and developing products capable of delivering what they really need. For example, every Summer, thousands of consumers look to purchasing air conditioners as a utility product necessary to generate a comfortable environment. What really matters to them? What kind of features are they looking for?

According to one industry report, the global air conditioner market is projected to register a CAGR of greater than 5% until 2026 on account of factors like changing customer behavior, technological advancements, and climate changes. The air conditioning industry is expected to witness massive growth due to the soaring temperature and humidity levels across the world. According to World Meteorological Organization – WMO, the average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 °C above the pre-industrial levels.

Methodology: Air conditioner voice of the customer report

In this inaugural Birdie Air Conditioner (AC) Voice of the Customer Report, the study analyzes consumer reviews on retailers’ apps and websites to understand US consumer preferences for evaluating these AC categories: Window, Portable, and High Wall. To understand these points, Birdie’s proprietary platform crawled and analyzed more than 63,000 US-based user reviews from nine retailers from January 2019 to May 2022. The retailers included Amazon, Best Buy, BrandsMartUSA, Costco, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, and Wayfair.

Air conditioner voice of the customer report
Retailers Ranking – Air conditioner voice of the customer report

To quantify the findings, Birdie leveraged its proprietary Artificial Intelligence technology to discover the most mentioned topics in AC products reviews using NLP-Sentiment Analysis to quantify each topic’s share of positive and negative feedback. This positive and negative feedback ratio is the basis for the Birdie Score, also called bscore.

Birdie also presents another metric, the Impact, which represents the positive or negative influence exerted on overall performance. Through this and other Birdie’s proprietary metrics available in the application, companies can quickly assess their products strengths and weaknesses, identify whitespaces in the category, and learn more about their customers and other players in the market.

What are customers saying about AC?

Birdie’s Consumer Insights Team curated the most relevant quantitative and qualitative information from the available data to get a snapshot of the market.

US AC Models

  • Window AC Brands
    • Frigidaire (+28 score and 24% SoV) leads healthy in the number and sentiment of reviews related to the most popular AC model market in US.
    • General Electric and LG follow the leader in this order of importance. The last one highlights with +22 net sentiment, over the Window ACs’ average bscore.
    • Midea appear at the lower right quadrant, with relevant SoV and low net sentiment: +2.
  • Portable AC Brands
    • SereneLife presents the most interesting performance by combining the most significant number of portable model reviews (13%), and a high net sentiment score: +30.
    • Performing in a critical quadrant, with a large number of reviews, mostly negative, we find the following brands in ascending order of bscore: Whynter (-2) and De’Longhi (-6).

US AC Model Types

  • Window ACs are the most popular (56%) and best evaluated in consumer reviews. Its bscore is +4 points higher than the category (+12).
  • On the other hand, Portable ACs, the second most popular model (37%), are -4 points compared to the overall average.
  • High Wall ACs, have a small share of voice (7%) among consumers reviews, also presenting a low level of satisfaction through score (+6 bscore).

AC Category Overall Takeaways

  • Cooling (+37% Impact), Value (+22%), and Quality (+14%) are the most positive impactful attributes of the AC category.
  • Installation, especially Assembly (-6% Impact) and Fan (-4%), is the greatest pain regarding the product itself.
  • ACs Post-Sale stage perform poorly. Product Issues (-21% Impact) and Return Process (-13%) are the most impactful offenders here.
  • Frigidaire (+17% SoV, +26 bscore), General Electric (+16% SoV, +19 bscore) and LG (+14%, 18 bscore) lead in reviews’ performance (SoV x bscore).

As the report shows, consumers now consider air conditioners a utility product. With the increase in demand and a volatile world, knowing what consumers are saying about your brand and what they expect from a product can put a company ahead of the competition. Getting spontaneous feedback about details such as the noise level, the remote control usage, and functions for kids – and how they are changing over time – can be critical for strategic decision-making said Pat Osorio, Birdie CRO and Co-Founder.

For more information, and to download the report, please visit https://birdie.ai/birdie-air-conditioners-report-2022/.

Daniella Barbosa

Daniella Barbosa

Senior Content Writer at Birdie. Daniella is a journalist with expertise in communication, digital media, and tourism. She has worked on several corporate and government projects. She holds a master's degree from the Federal University of Paraná and is certified by MIT in Leading Digital Transformation. Enjoys writing about technology, consumer behavior, and travel.
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