Survey: Customer Service, Management Skills Vie for Title of ‘Greatest Strength’

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — When it comes to assessing their “greatest strength,” coin laundry owners who took this month’s American Coin-Op Your Views survey say it’s a tie between customer service skills and management skills; equal shares of 33.3% chose those responses.

Next is maintenance skills, at 23.3%. Equal shares of 3.3% say it is marketing skills or delegation. The remaining 3.3% of respondents say they aren’t sure.

Roughly 55% of respondents to the unscientific survey say they spend less than 20 hours a week at their store(s). Approximately 28% spend between 20 and 40 hours, 10.3% spend more than 60 hours, and 6.9% spend between 40 and 60 hours. No one who took the anonymous poll say they “rarely visit” their store(s).

How would you rate your maintenance skills? Roughly 57% of respondents rate their skills “better than most owners,” while 33.3% say they’re “no better or worse than other owners.” The remaining 10% rate their skills as “not as good as most owners.”

As far as customer service, 50% say they get along great with their customers. Thirty percent rate their customer service skills as better than most owners, and the remaining 20% rate their skills as no better or worse than other owners.

To complete this month’s survey, store owners were asked to describe the “best decision” they ever made regarding their store, and the “worst decision.” First, some of the “best”:

  • “Starting a commercial laundry division.”
  • “Replacing machines, adding AC, and keeping the place nice and clean.”
  • “To make a commitment to make sure every item in the store is in working condition.”
  • “Buying the buildings where we have the laundries.”
  • “Gradual vending price increases by equipment type.”
  • “Adding a loyalty card system.”

And some of the “worst”:

  • “Listing my business for sale. A distributor from a neighboring state submitted an offer, did due diligence, withdrew, came back and built a store.”
  • “Not doing enough fluff and fold.”
  • “Hiring one bad attendant.”
  • “To hire an outside consultant to drum up commercial work for our business.”
  • “Using painted wooden bulkheads instead of prefab.”

American Coin-Op’s Your Views survey presents an unscientific snapshot of the trade audience’s viewpoints at a particular moment. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Subscribers to American Coin-Op e-mails are invited to participate anonymously in an industry survey each month. The entire trade audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define owner/operator opinions and industry trends.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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