Survey: Many Measure Customer Satisfaction, but Fewer Track Complaints

CHICAGO — Two-thirds of laundry managers and administrators surveyed via the Wire this month (65%) say their operation has a system in place for measuring customer satisfaction in their service, but only 45% of respondents say they record and track customer complaints in some way.
Thirty percent of respondents don’t measure customer satisfaction and 5% are unsure. For those operations that contact customers about their level of satisfaction, 42.1% inquire informally in conversation, 21.1% ask customers to complete a written survey and 36.8% do both.
Half of respondents don’t track customer complaints while 45% do. The remaining 5% aren’t sure.
The condition of the laundered goods most often prompts customer complaints, according to 44.4% of respondents. Contents of an order being incorrect (22.2%), failing to deliver or package goods according to a customer’s wishes (16.7%), a missed or late delivery (11.1%) and a reaction to increased cost of service (5.6%) are other key reasons. No one who responded selected incorrect charges or billing or the conduct of their staff as the chief cause of complaints received.
Two-thirds of respondents (65%) say they or a member of their staff contact a customer immediately upon receiving a complaint. Thirty percent contact the customer within 24 hours, and 5% contact the customer within a week.
One-third of respondents (35%) rank their operation’s customer service as “Excellent” based on the number of complaints received and their ability to resolve them successfully. Sixty percent consider their customer service to be “Above average” and 5% rank themselves as “Average.” No one who responded to the survey judged their customer service to be “Below average” or “Poor.”
Respondents were asked to describe “the most ridiculous complaint you’ve ever received.” Here’s a sampling:
• “An expectation that the customer will not receive any items that … have a stain or are in need of repair.”
• “A doctor wanted to see if I could get scrubs that were flannel-lined because he was cold.”
• “In a 350-room resort, the housekeeping manager wanted the laundry to increase the linen pars on the floors by 50%. He complained when it was not done the very next morning.”
• “People that call for additional linen because they are out, but when you get there the linen cart is full.”
• “Patient gown was not turned right-side out. [The] nurse was upset because she had to hand it to a patient inside out [and] made a federal case out of it.”
• “The extra-small scrubs are not small enough.”
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails have the opportunity to take an industry survey each month. Click this link and follow the menu instructions to sign up for the free e-mail service.


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