Want to learn the secret behind making a good impression on your patrons? Research says you can leverage clean restrooms to deliver long-term profits. Keep reading to learn why!
As the world begins to return to in-person shopping, dining, and transacting, businesses are beginning to realize the importance of their facility’s restroom standards. In fact, research shows that a customers’ experience in a public restroom can affect their perception of the business as a whole. If all facilities are not clean or functional, customers may avoid visiting your business. And in a environment where COVID-19 still poses a threat, customers place even greater value on clean and comfortable restrooms. Get this right and the business will flourish. Get it wrong and profits will die.
How does restroom cleanliness affect customers’ perception of a business?
As we know, the availability of a clean restroom is an absolute must for any public business that is operating in-person on a regular basis. Throughout the pandemic, many restaurants and shops had no choice but to close their dining areas and other parts of their facilities altogether, taking the accessibility of public restrooms with them.
With the reopening of so many businesses, these facilities have once again become available to patrons. Of course, because restrooms are a valuable commodity to customers, their cleanliness can largely influence the way the business as a whole is perceived. If, for instance, a patron comes across a disgusting bathroom in a chain restaurant, they might make the assumption that the employees are just as negligent of other cleanliness and safety protocols in the kitchen. Even worse, if a restroom is completely unstocked, patrons may not feel comfortable using the business’s facilities and may choose to spend their money elsewhere. In all, restroom appearance and functionality have a greater bearing on the customer experience than many business owners may think.
Additionally, because of the nature of their use and availability to so many patrons in a single day of business, restrooms have the potential to carry a significant amount of bacteria compared to other public facilities. For example, research shows that restroom sinks are in the top 10 germiest spots in public facilities, sitting among the likes of door handles and other frequently touched surfaces. With such a large variety of hands using them everyday, sinks alone are practically a magnet for bacteria. Of course, with the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its variants, these common concerns have only grown more and more serious.
Want More Proof?
At the end of the day, customers are looking for facilities that they can use both safely and comfortably. As a matter of fact, new research has found that 74% of respondents say dirty restrooms would cause them to have a negative overall perception of a business.
Survey Finds Restrooms Make a Lasting Impression
Additionally, among 2,036 U.S. adults surveyed, a whopping 68% said they would have a low opinion of a business if its restroom contained empty hand soap, toilet paper, and paper towel dispensers. While cleanliness is incredibly important to so many patrons, usability certainly is too. If a restroom is not fully stocked, customers may not have a comfortable experience at a place of business and might have to resort to other facilities.
Research consistently shows that filthy, poorly stocked bathrooms turn many customers off—and that clean, sanitary bathrooms are even more important to women than to men. Without regard for these considerations, places of business may see sales plummet over time.
How does customer perception affect long-term profits?
It’s rather simple. As you can probably assume, if customers are comfortable in your place of business, they’re much more likely to come back. They may also be more likely to tell others about your business’s cleanliness and comfortability through word of mouth or even online reviews.
Alternatively, if patrons feel uncomfortable or grossed out when walking into a dirty restroom, they may dissuade others from visiting or go as far as to leave a bad review online.
So what do we mean when we say ‘dirty bathroom’? These are the most common offenders that will decrease your profits:
- Filthy toilet
- Wet floors
- Lack of soap
- Wet toilet seat (or worse – no seat)
- Bad odors from fecal bacteria
- Overflowing toilet bowl
Naturally, these things are incredibly bad for businesses, especially if the weak point is something as practical as maintaining a clean restroom.
Of course, when employees or janitorial staff are already juggling so many other responsibilities, it can be difficult to stay on top of a clean bathroom––especially for busy restaurants or shopping centers. If this is the case for your public toilet, the best option is to put systems in place that allow patrons to offer feedback that is quick and easy to address. In this way you can also have a restroom that looks like this – an example of clean restrooms deliver long term profits.
So, how can businesses stay on top of restroom cleanliness, and how to banish dirty toilets forever?
Leave it to systems like Opiniator, a one-click restroom feedback service that offers a direct line of communication between guests and staff. No longer will guests have to go out of their way to offer feedback about their facility experience. By scanning a QR code, making a call, completing an online survey, or texting their feedback, patrons can alert staff when restroom cleanliness is not up to proper standards.
Check out the restroom feedback loop video showing how it works. And remember – it is all touchless.
Despite some methods of gathering on-the-spot feedback from patrons, many businesses are unable to utilize them to their fullest extent. This particularly so due to expensive feedback kiosks and/or unhygienic touchscreens. With Opiniator, guests can resort to using a device of their own to notify staff of any issues in their facility by using information posted on restroom decals.
Rather than relying on staff to abide by a restroom cleaning checklist that are not always thoroughly followed, facility operators can utilize this kind of technology to gather up-to-date feedback from those who are using their restrooms each and every day.
Unclean restrooms destroy customer satisfaction, customer retention and long term profits.
In all, it’s becoming increasingly clear that facility cleanliness has been the focus since the start of the pandemic and will continue to be essential for any business looking to grow from here on out. Luckily, efficient restroom feedback systems can make this much easier in the long-run, and maintain a lasting impression and longer commercial life.
A clean image and happier customers plus clean restrooms deliver long term profits.