CHICAGO — Nearly four out of five drycleaners (79.4%) say that they are satisfied with their distributors, according to the most recent Wire survey, marking a big improvement in customer satisfaction since American Drycleaner conducted a similar survey in 2008.
This year, 44.1% of respondents say they are “Very satisfied” with their distributors, and 35.3% say they are “Somewhat satisfied.” Those who say they are “Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” (8.8%), “Somewhat dissatisfied” (8.8%) and “Very dissatisfied” (2.9%) add up to just one-fifth of responses.
In the 2008 survey, about half (52.2%) of respondents reported being “Very satisfied” (34.8%) or “Somewhat satisfied” (17.4%) with their distributors. Almost one-third (30.4%) reported being “Somewhat dissatisfied;” while 13.0% were “Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied” and 4.3% were “Very dissatisfied.”
“Some distributors couldn’t do much better,” says an operator from the Southeast, but “a couple of distributors are borderline inadequate. For example, the suppliers [here] are great, but the equipment-maintenance companies are very inconsistent.”
Asked what they rely on distributors to provide other than equipment and supplies, operators name “Advice” first, with 86.7% of responses. Next are “Equipment maintenance” (36.7%) and “Equipment installation (26.7%). A handful of drycleaners rely on distributors for “Training” (16.7%) and “Plant layout/design (13.3%).
Asked what they would like to see distributors do more, several operators said they want products of standardized quality rather than product substitutions, particularly in hangers and packaging products. Others say they “miss having regular sales calls [and] hearing about new products.”
“Provide recommendations for improving our work processes and upgrading our quality,” one operator says. “Keep me abreast of innovations and changes in the industry.”
American Drycleaner’s Wire surveys readers every month on a variety of issues facing the industry. While the survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.