Maintaining clean, comfortable restrooms is a surefire way to show your customers that you care. Why? Well, you don’t make money in your restrooms.
What Does Your Restroom Say About Your Business?
by GreenInHygiene on January 6, 2012
As the economy has been in a slump these past few years, businesses have tried just about everything they can think of to keep bringing customers and clients in their doors. With 2012 being considered the year for a rise in sustainability and customer service efforts, the same type of push is causing businesses to look at their buildings, inside and out, to see where they can make their business more appealing, more green. Perhaps the most often overlooked area that coincidentally also happens to be a key area to customers is the restroom. And the rumors are true – your restroom says a lot about your business.
A little skeptical about how much influence such a small space where customers will spend just a few moments of their time can actually have? Well, a recent survey of 2,000 people reinforces the impact of restrooms on customer experience and their powerful potential to provide a competitive edge with stunning statistics such as these:
- 29% of responders would never return to a restaurant with an extremely unclean or unsanitary restroom
- 50% of responders would tell their friends and family about a negative experience with an unclean or unsanitary restaurant restroom
- 46% would avoid going to a restaurant because of a bad experience with a restaurant’s restroom that either they had personally or that they heard about from others.
Sure sure, but this is a study about restaurants. It can’t apply to every business… Oh yeah? Think about this then: when you invite guests over to your house (especially guests who have never been to your house before), one of the most important things you will do is clean up your house, specifically any common areas – your living room, your kitchen and dining room, your entryway or foyer, and your restroom. You do not want your guests to have to use a dirty restroom or to think you are dirty people, right? So why wouldn’t you do the same to your customers? If you’re looking to deliver quality customer service and earn the trust of your customers, there’s no better way than to show them that you care about them and their well-being – even in your restrooms.
If you’re as curious as we were, you would probably be interested to know the top 10 restroom factors that prevented those customers mentioned above from returning. Here they are:
- Overflowing toilets – 58%
- Unpleasant odors – 57%
- Slippery/dirty floors with buildup, gum or other residue – 49%
- Dirty partitions, doors, doorknobs, walls or fixtures – 38%
- Dirty and wet sinks and counter tops – 38%
- Insufficient toilet paper – 33%
- Overflowing trashcans – 31%
- Insufficient liquid soap – 28%
- Non-working toilet paper dispenser – 22%
- Management/employees unavailable for reporting problems – 19%
Maintaining clean, comfortable restrooms is a surefire way to show your customers that you care. Why? Well,you don’t make money in your restrooms. Investing money in your customers versus just investing money in sales is the best way to show them that you care about them – they can trust you – which can end up increasing your customer base when all is said and done anyway. Want to add a cherry on top of it all? Add in some sustainable or green products and processes andshowcase them to your customers with clear labels or explanations. A company that cares for the environment AND their customers? This is the place to be! (Or at least they could be thinking something along those lines… )
Ready to take a look at your restrooms to see if there’s something you can do to better serve your customers? Bravo – potential customers from miles around are cheering you on in approval! Here are some great questions to ask yourself as you work to make your restrooms more enjoyable for guests:
- Do my bathrooms smell?
- Is there buildup on sinks or in toilets?
- Are the walls clean?
- Are there any holes in the walls or ceilings?
- Are there any missing tiles in the ceiling or on the floor?
- Is anything in the bathroom broken?
- Is there graffiti on walls or stalls?
- Have I provided for the needs of women and parents with young children?
- Is there plenty of toilet paper in my bathrooms?
- How about soaps or hand dryers/paper towels?
- When was the last time the bathroom was painted?
- Are the colors and finishes attractive?
- Do my toilets and/or urinals leak?
- Do puddles form on the floor at any time?
- Do the appropriate doors lock when they’re supposed to?
- Do my bathrooms offer enough privacy for each individual in the bathroom?
- Have I provided hooks or shelves in the stalls for personal belongings?
- How often do I have the bathrooms checked on?
- Is there an employee on every shift assigned to keep the bathrooms clean and stocked?
- Would I use the restrooms I’m asking my customers to use?
The market is full of ready-made “green” products to help keep your shared bathrooms clean and appealing for customers to use; just be sure to do your homework and evaluate every claim made by each product. “Green” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone!
Complete article with product suggestions can be found at the Green in Hygiene.