CHICAGO — More operators are using the Internet to market, and operators also believe it’s important to develop a relationship with competitors, according to the most recent Wire survey.
Operators once again used the Wire survey to give us the “skinny” on what industry beliefs are myths or reality.
PUBLICIZING PRICE HIKES
Do you let customers know about price hikes in advance? Fifty-six percent of respondents disagree with giving advance notice of price hikes, while 28% favor the practice. Sixteen percent are not sure if publicizing price hikes is advisable.
KNOW THY COMPETITOR
Eighty-five percent of respondents believe it’s beneficial to develop a cordial/business relationship with competitors. Only 9% don’t see the importance of developing a relationship with the competition, while 6% aren’t sure about how to treat competitors.
More than half of the respondents (55%) believe the Internet (store websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is an important marketing tool. Twenty-two percent regard the importance of Internet marketing as a “myth,” while 23% are not sure about the role Internet marketing plays in the self-service laundry industry.
Can one person run as many as four stores without hiring a manager, assistant, etc.? Forty-five percent of respondents say running four stores solo is doable. Twenty-seven percent disagree, and 28% aren’t sure about how many stores one person can handle without receiving any management assistance.
NO NEED FOR COINS
When considering adopting a cashless solution, operators have often feared the problems involved with educating customers about using cards rather than coins.
“With a cashless society becoming more prevalent, cashless laundries no longer have a steep education curve.” Do you agree with that statement? Only 31% believe that society’s familiarity with cashless methods eliminates the steep education curve involved with a laundry going cashless. Forty-seven percent call the statement a myth, and 22% are not sure if the steep education curve is still a factor when going cashless.
Respondents were also asked to list their favorite industry myths and/or reality:
Myth: It doesn’t take much time to run a laundry.
Myth: You make money with little effort.
Myth: Coin laundry customers will not adapt to using dollar coins.
Reality: Customers don’t usually comment or complain about price increases as long as you operate a nice store and give them what they want.
Reality: People still need education on my card system.
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.