Whether in a restaurant, grocery store, hotel, office building or elsewhere, what people see and smell in a facility immediately impacts the customer experience on how they perceive a brand. In addition to safeguarding building occupants, maintaining a clean space free of foul odors encourages positive reviews and customer retention. In fact, according to a 2020 poll, 93% of Americans said a facility with offensive odors would negatively impact their perception of an organization. To develop loyalty and a strong reputation by maintaining a standard of cleanliness, facilities need the right tools and procedures for cleaning and disinfection.
Cleanliness Impacts the Bottom Line
When customers have a negative experience due to a visually dirty looking facility, repeat patronage is lost. Even if the entrance appears well-kept, an unclean restroom or foul odor can be enough to provoke a negative reaction or online review. People cite dirty or sticky floors as the number one indicator of poor restroom maintenance. Dirty and sticky floors are also like to cause slip, trip and fall accidents that can cost businesses an average of $30,000 in liabilities.
Negative reviews are detrimental to businesses. According to a 2018 Harris Poll, reading negative online comments about restrooms would change the vast majority of customers’ behavior. Ninety-one percent of Americans say they would be deterred from visiting a hotel, and 89% would not visit a restaurant due to online complaints. Unpleasant smells anywhere in the facility can also impact the bottom line. More than half of Americans say they would assume a building is not clean or look for a different business to patronize. Even worse, 34% would never return. With the stakes this high, companies can’t afford to overlook the potential for offensive odors to emerge. Maintaining a Clean Feel
How can a facility maintain a space that both looks clean and is clean? Consider these strategies to manage unpleasant smells and sights as well as provide a positive experience.
Focus on floors. The floor is often the first thing patrons see upon entering a room, and dirty floors imply a dirty facility. Besides visible grime, customers immediately feel a sticky or slippery floor. Maintain a consistent floor cleaning schedule, address spills, as well as remove visible soils and debris quickly. Look for high-absorption mops or more economical cotton options to ensure a complete job. Additionally, find mop systems that are National Floor Safety Institute certified to meet slip, trip and fall prevention standards.
Prioritize restroom cleaning. Since unclean restrooms will steer customers away from returning, facility managers should advise custodial staff to keep restroom sanitation top of mind as well as maintain record keeping. Besides keeping restroom floors clean, regularly address toilet bowls and sinks. Look for urinal and bowl care brushes made with rugged poly bristle that can effectively remove organic build-up.
Prevent lingering malodors. Throughout your facility, a comprehensive cleaning routine with the right products will reduce conditions that can lead to unpleasant odors. As part of a daily maintenance schedule, use a dual-cavity mop bucket that separates clean and dirty water with an approved floor cleaning solution that will remove organic odor sources on walkway surfaces.
Keep Customers Coming Back with a Positive Experience
To build brand loyalty, making a good first impression is imperative and lasting. Allowing unclean surfaces and offensive odors to linger unattended can lead to a negative brand perception as well as discourage customers from revisiting your establishment. Routinely cleaning and disinfecting your facility with the right tools and ensuring odor control will assure patrons of a well-maintained space.
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