Firstly heating and water is considered as a single category and secondly domestic products and white goods are considered together (several of the companies manufactured both types of product). The heating and water category contained manufacturers of all sizes, but the domestic products and white goods category mainly contained manufacturers with more than 100 employees.
The only manufacturer that returned the reply 'never', when asked whether sound quality was important to customer satisfaction was in the heating and water category.
One manufacturer in the heating and water category said that sound quality is 'not important' and one manufacturer said it is 'never considered'. The other two manufacturers that said sound quality is 'never considered' were in the mowers and outdoor equipment category. None of the manufacturers in the domestic appliances and white goods category said that sound quality was 'never considered' or 'not important'.
A high percentage of manufacturers in the domestic products and white goods category (27% compared to 20% for all of the manufacturers) said that they carried out formal tests using independent juries. This is possibly because these types of manufacturer were all medium or large companies (i.e. with more than 100 employees). Conversely the percentage of manufacturers of heating and water products doing formal tests using independent juries was very low (5% compared to 20% for all of the manufacturers). Most of the manufacturers which said they carried out formal jury testing were further investigated by telephone interview. Interestingly, the percentage of manufacturers using the sound quality method 'informal listening by the designer' was also very high (82% compared to 63% for all the manufacturers) in the domestic appliances and white goods category and low in the heating and water category (50% compared to 63% for all the manufacturers).