CHICAGO — What separates the “great” stores from the “good” stores? What key feature can win the praise of your customers? As it turns out, one of the industry “basics” rates quite high with survey respondents.When someone mentions a “great laundry,” “cleanliness” is the first thing that comes to mind for 45% of respondents in the latest Wire survey. Other store features garnering votes include customer comfort, 17.5%; “other,” 12.5%; friendly owner/employee(s), 10%; and equipment (mix/number), 7.5%.Conversely, store size (56.4%) was deemed to be the most overrated factor when judging a store. Equal shares (12.8%) believe equipment (mix/number) and store aesthetics/décor are the most overrated factors. Other overrated factors include friendly owner/employee(s) (10.3%) and customer comfort (7.7%). No one believes cleanliness is an overrated factor.What is your store’s best feature? Nearly half of the respondents touted cleanliness as their store’s best feature. Customer service was a distant second, followed by equipment offerings.There has been an ongoing industry debate about the importance of having an attended store. Forty-four percent of respondents believe an unattended store can be a “great” store, while 41.5% disagree. Slightly more than 14% are not sure if an unattended store can be a “great” store. The debate continues.First-rate laundries and industry image are linked. Respondents were asked: “From the day you opened your first store until today, what has happened to the industry image?” Fifty-six percent say the image is better (26.8%, “far better;” 29.2%, “somewhat better”). Thirty-seven percent believe the image hasn’t changed, and only 7% say the image is “somewhat worse.” No one believes the image is “much worse.”Is there a “great” store (including yours) in your area? Seventy-eight percent say “yes,” and 14.6% say “no.” Slightly more than 7% aren’t sure if a “great” store exists in their area.While the American Coin-Op Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.Subscribers to the Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. Click here and follow the menu instructions to sign up for the free e-mail service.