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Survey: Owners Wear Many Hats; Most Believe They Are Great at Customer Service

Paul Partyka |

CHICAGO — What type of owner are you? Coin laundry owners were asked to comment on their various skills in American Coin-Op’s unscientific Wire survey this month, and most of the respondents spoke quite favorably about their abilities.PUTTING IN THE TIMEForty percent of respondents spend less than 20 hours a week at their store(s), while 32% spend 20-40 hours a week working there. Seventeen percent put in 40-60 hours a week, and 9.6% are on hand more than 60 hours a week.JACK OF ALL TRADESWhen it comes to maintenance, two-thirds of the respondents say their skills are better than most owners. Twenty percent say their skills are no better or worse than other owners, and 9% say their skills are not as good as most owners. Only 4% don’t perform any maintenance tasks.Eighty-three percent say they either get along great with their customers (55%) or are better than most owners when it comes to customer service (28%). Fifteen percent say they are no better or worse than other owners when it comes to customer service.Seventy-nine percent rate their management skills (number-crunching, making daily decisions, etc.) as outstanding (31%) or better than most owners (48%). Eighteen percent say their skills are no better or worse than other owners. Three percent say their skills are not as good as most owners or that they leave management decisions to others.STRONG POINTSIn which skills do you excel? Operators are split on this question. Maintenance, customer service and management skills finished in a virtual tie, with each skill garnering 32% of the vote. Only 4% list marketing as their greatest skill.DECISIONS, DECISIONSRespondent were asked about their best and worst laundry-related decisions. On the positive side, raising prices and adding new equipment top the list. On the negative side, there’s more variety. The three worst decisions involve employees (hiring the wrong people and not keeping a closer eye on them), not increasing prices in a timely manner, and not settling on the right equipment mix.Subscribers to American Coin-Op’s Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The unscientific survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.Click here and follow the menu instructions to sign up for the free e-mail service. 

About the author

Paul Partyka

American Coin-Op

Paul Partyka was editor of American Coin-Op from 1997 through May 2011.

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