How Your Bathroom Is Losing (Or Winning) You Customers
Picture it: you own a common dollar store, small town, with fairly active business hours. Business is smooth sailing. One day, a disgruntled employee – angry that the store’s manager won’t hire a professional cleaning service to take care of the basement – logs onto your store’s Facebook page and posts pictures of store’s basement. Dead rats and cockroaches are everywhere. The pictures paint a picture that could strike fear into the hearts of even the least germaphobic person out there – it is disgusting. Needless to say, that post gets a lot of attention. Soon, customers are sharing their own horrible experiences with the store in the comments. Talk about a disgusting smell lingering along the aisles, so pungent it makes people sick – presumably from the decaying rats – fuels the fire.
Now, picture the people finding this post. Potential customers seeing your store – and all its gross insides – because you didn’t want to invest the money it takes to keep your business up to code with cleaning standards. How many people do you think would look at those photos and still want to come to your store? Would you still come to your store to buy anything?
If word gets out about how dirty your business is according to your customers, things can escalate quickly. People shy away, they talk, they recommend better businesses for those who are too grossed out to consider your business.
Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that a well-established company gets to such a catastrophic level of uncleanliness. But even if your business doesn’t have dead rats in your basement for customers to see – or worse, smell – they will always notice if you have dirty bathrooms.
The High Expectations of Clean Bathrooms
Clean bathrooms are important everywhere. But, the highest standards are held by restaurants, hotels, and hospitals – where visits are judged at the highest level of scrutiny.
When you walk into a restaurant, hotel, or hospital, you are most likely to both say something negative about the company, and potentially never return, if the bathrooms are not clean. To be clear, a lotof people avoid these places because of unclean bathrooms – about 80% – which is over 3/4ths of your customers. We admit, every other business holds a lower aversion average – around 50% – but even half of your customer base is too large a percentage to ignore. After all, no business can survive if it alienates half of its potential customers.
Bathroom Cleanliness Wins or Loses You Business
75% of adults won’t ever willingly return to a place with dirty bathrooms.
No, seriously. Customers associate the cleanliness of your bathroom and the“hidden” parts of your business – like the kitchens – with your overall presentation as a company. Cleanliness might not first seem to play such a vital role in your brand values like your integrity, your transparency, your follow-through, and the quality of your products/service, but cleanliness is one of the first values your customers will notice – especially in the bathroom.
Customers value cleanliness above all other factors when deciding whether or not to do business with you. It’s a one-strike-and-you’re-out ballgame, where the first impression is sometimes the only impression. Fortunately, the opposite is true as well. If your bathrooms look, smell, and feel clean, customers will be more inclined to trust you and give you their business.
So where does your business stand? Before you answer that question, consider this:
Dirty Bathrooms Cost You More Money
Dirty bathrooms are likely cost you more money than what you would save by not cleaning them at all. According to “Counting the Customer” by Ruby Newell-Legner, it takes 12 positive interactions to make up for one negative interaction – combine that with the fact that it is 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one, and it becomes clear why ensuring that your bathrooms are kept clean is vital to your overall success as a business.
Dirty Bathrooms Lower Your Employee Morale
Businesses often overlook the effect that dirty bathrooms have on their employees. Employees who are subjected to dirty bathrooms report lower morale, productivity, and loyalty than their clean counterparts. The bottom line is: nobody likes a dirty bathroom, and places that don’t keep their bathrooms clean likely skimp out on a lot of other things too. That’s the perception, whether it’s true or not.
Tips for Keeping Your Bathrooms Clean
1: Make a Plan
This is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to improve your bathroom’s cleanliness: just make a schedule. We recommend that you clean your bathroom at least twice a day, but with bathrooms, the more frequently you clean, the better your situation is.
2: Hold People Accountable
It’s good to make sure there is responsibility attached to cleaning your business. Have your employees initial their names on a chart when they clean the bathroom, noting what they cleaned and when they cleaned it. That way, if something is wrong, you know who to go to. This will enforce standards, and overall quality of work completed – because, people tend to do better work when their name is attached to it.
3: Have the Proper Supplies
Do you have a toilet mop? How about industrial strength cleaner? An important part of the cleaning process is making sure you have the right supplies and tools. Even if bathroom cleaning is less expensive than say, stripping and resealing a vinyl floor, there is still a cost associated with cleaning bathrooms that can’t be ignored.
4: Get Deep
It’s not enough for a bathroom to just look clean. It has to feel, smell, and actually be clean. This involves taking care of areas that people don’t typically think of when they imagine cleaning bathrooms, such as walls, windows, grout, and baseboards. Neglecting any part of these will result in a bathroom that leaves customers wanting.
5: If All Else Fails, Call a Professional
There is a good chance your customers probably won’t rave to their friends about your clean bathrooms. But, and here’s the kicker, they are twice as likely to talk about the dirty ones. The bottom line is: customers expect your business to be clean.
Cleanliness is often a thankless task, and requires a lot of continuous work, effort, and attention. Some people love cleaning – it relaxes them. Others would frankly rather do anything else. Wherever on the spectrum you land, we understand you are probably much more focused – and should be – more focused on doing your job than cleaning your business.
At Anago, we pride ourselves on getting businesses to the level of clean that wins customers and builds your reputation as a business everyone can trust. Before you fall victim to a poor bathroom review – yes, those are a thing – contact us to ensure that the first impression customers have of your business is a good one. We believe in the kind of clean that wins. Are you ready to win more business?