Survey: Good Customer Service, Safe Workplaces are Keys to Improving Industry


ALN Wire Survey Chart
ALN Wire Survey Chart. (Image: Alissa Ausmann)


ALN Wire Survey Chart
ALN Wire Survey Chart. (Image: Alissa Ausmann)

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO – In what one way can a laundry manager or textile rental operator best improve our industry? By making sure equipment is functioning properly? Using environmentally friendly chemicals? Providing timely service?
Among American Laundry News audience members polled in this month’s Wire survey, 40% say managers and/or operators could best improve laundry/linen services by providing good customer service.
One-quarter of respondents say providing a comfortable, safe working environment would be best. Ten percent point to using environmentally friendly chemicals, while equal portions of 5% say properly functioning equipment or timely delivery service is key. Fifteen percent chose “Other,” indicating that every point is valid and should be addressed rather than singling one out.
Distributors can best improve the industry by offering more opportunities for service training (30%), providing faster parts/supplies delivery (20%), visiting laundry facilities more often and offering advice (20%), providing better equipment service (10%) and alerting customers when new or improved technology is nearing release (10%), respondents say. Ten percent selected “Other,” again noting that all points are valid and worth addressing.
Seventy percent of respondents say their distributor plays a “minor role” in their success, with another 25% saying it plays a “major role.” Only 5% say their distributor plays “no role” in their success.
There was a clear majority when the question of industry betterment was asked about manufacturers. Sixty-five percent of respondents say manufacturers can best improve the industry by focusing more on energy efficiency and conservation. Fifteen percent picked “Other,” with some respondents advocating that manufacturers become more involved in educating the industry and talking with plant managers “to see what we really need.”
Warranties that are more comprehensive (15%) and assistance with financing (5%) were also selected. No one chose offering “a larger variety of equipment.”
Eighty-five percent of respondents say they have dealt directly with an equipment manufacturer to solve a problem.
If an “average” customer has one complaint about their laundry/linen service, 30% of respondents say it would be that the cost is too high. Twenty-five percent believe it would be a failure to iron or press goods well enough, and 20% say the average customer would complain that they lose too many items.
Equal portions of 10% pointed to filling orders incorrectly/running short on items or “Other” (including delivering too much linen). Just 5% say the complaint would be that they don’t clean the goods well enough. No one thinks the complaint would be about timeliness of deliveries.
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to participate anonymously in a brief industry survey each month. While it presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, the survey should not be considered scientific.
The entire American Laundry News audience is encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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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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