Clean Restrooms Don’t Exist – A Real Problem
Does your business have either public or staff restrooms? Do you know right if they are clean or need attention? Can you confirm if your restroom gives a bad impression of your business or if your customers think your bathrooms are safe to use? Are you aware of the impact of an unclean restroom on your profits?
Either way, if you have bathrooms, you may not be aware of how subpar standards impact both brand image and customer retention. Fortunately, research by Harris Interactive in 2011 answers this question.
80% of all US adults regularly use public restrooms. 90% of the same group would avoid a business in the future if they encounter a dirty restroom.
How common is a dirty restroom?
Bradley Corporation study reports public restrooms are apparently getting worse, not better. Clean facilities are a rarity.
Nearly 70% of the respondents reported a recent unpleasant public restroom encounter, up from 51% four years ago.
Additionally, the problem is not just affecting public restrooms. In fact, bathrooms at work also appear to be going downhill. In the same annual survey, only half of the respondents rated the facilities at their workplaces as excellent or very good. Furthermore, this is down compared to 66% in 2012. For this reason, if your restroom ever looks like this, your business has a problem.
How many times have you encountered the following horror stories during an unpleasant restroom experience? How often has this left a negative image? Do you dread using a public toilet?
Empty paper towel dispensers, no toilet paper, no soap, no towels, dirty toilet seat or urinal. Or perhaps some of these – wet floors, running faucets, slimy walls, filthy restroom surfaces, lack of cleaning, foul odor, no supplies, cracked mirrors, smelly sink, soap scum. Any of these are telltale signs of poor toilets, fecal bacteria, odor causing bacteria and a higher risk of poorer health.
As a consequence, customer satisfaction, customer retention, company image, and future profitability are badly affected.
So why is there a restroom problem – why is a clean bathroom hard to find?
There are four main reasons:
- Inspection checklists are never used properly – no consistent restroom cleaning by janitorial staff
- Restroom checks are never done regularly – no restroom cleaning procedures
- Restroom users don’t complain to company staff
- The company does not realize the severity of the problem
Tell Me Again Why Restroom Cleanliness Matters
At the current time with heightened awareness of hygiene standards due to COVID, The evidence is overwhelming:
- Improved brand perception (clean location equals a clean image)
- Lower maintenance costs
- Decreased water consumption
- Better HSE exposure
- Increased customer retention
- Higher profits
Food and Wine Magazine (March 2019) puts it best:
Cleaner restrooms mean the customer will spend more at the business. Cleanliness matters!
How does Opiniator help?
These issues are not going to be solved simply by having more staff, daily maintenance or investing in touchless fixtures. We answered these issues and developed a cell phone-based restroom feedback tool to solve the restroom feedback problem in just four steps.
- A digital comment card
- For restrooms
- Delivered as SaaS (software as a service)
- Using the visitor’s own cell phone
- That improves restroom standards
- And delivers a happier customer and a clean, well-maintained restroom
- By providing on the spot, actionable and closed loop restroom feedback
How does it all work?
In the restroom, there is signage to request prompt the visitor. In addition, the signage shares how this is done through their own cell phone. No extra requirements for the business. No extra tasks for staff.
We have a lot more information including a short video. Businesses with restrooms now have an effective feedback and management tool. All data is from real visitors, and in real-time. It allows swift correction action to ensure the restroom experience never impacts customers. They only see clean restrooms.
What is the Outcome ie. the Impact of Clean Restrooms on a Business?
A clean, well maintained public restroom with happy customers, lower workload on the employee, and reduced chance of an unclean public bathroom. In short – the entire business!