CHICAGO — When it comes to improving the industry, little things can have a significant impact on customers, according to the latest Wire survey. Forty-seven percent of respondents believe operators can best improve the industry (from a customer’s perspective) by sprucing up their store, followed by making sure all the equipment is working (26%). Thirteen percent believe providing a comfortable, safe environment is the way to win customers over.
On a related note, operators were asked: “If an ‘average’ customer has one complaint about your store, what would it be?” Forty percent say customers think the pricing is too high or that the drying time is too short. Other responses include the store is not clean enough, 15%; there aren’t enough machines, 14%; too many machines are not working, 6.7%; and there is no attendant, 6.7%. No one selected “the attendant is not helpful,” “the store is too small,” or “there is no emphasis on customer comfort.”
Respondents were equally divided over the way distributors can best improve the industry. Equal portions (20%) say there should be more open houses/service schools; distributors should provide faster parts/supplies delivery; and distributors need to alert operators when new equipment, technology or supplies are nearing release. Other responses include distributors should visit stores more often and offer advice (13.3%) and distributors can provide better service on their equipment (6.7%).
More than half of the respondents (53%) say their distributor plays no role in their operation. Thirty-three percent say their distributor plays a minor role in their operation, and 14% say their distributor plays a major role in their operation.
Manufacturers can best improve the industry by offering more comprehensive warranties (27%) or focusing more on energy efficiency (22%), survey results show. Manufacturers can also assist more with financing (20%) or offer a larger variety of equipment (7%). Seventy-three percent of respondents have dealt directly with an equipment manufacturer to solve a problem.
Several respondents would even like to see manufacturers sell directly to operators.
While the American Coin-Op Wire survey presents a snapshot of the audience's viewpoint at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
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