Why have a Touchless Restroom?…..
……..And why change to touchless feedback?
A dirty public bathroom is terrible for business and a stain on an organization’s image. A Harvard Business School study shows that clean, working guest restrooms are critical for maintaining business reputation and revenue. They serve as a quality barometer for the brand. This means user feedback is vital for organizations. Yet restroom standards are poor despite handwashing standards improving.
In fact, 70% of the respondents reported a recent unpleasant public bathroom encounter. This is up from 51% four years ago. Bradley Corp 2019
A restroom feedback system provides a convenient tool for monitoring fixture cleanliness, water spillage, paper towel out of stocks, dispenser breakage and improving operating standards. The feedback system enables visitors to rate their experience and submit an alert or service request to the custodial employee. This is done without paper comment cards or checklists. This immediacy means staff can immediately fix the issue and remove the HSSE risk. This benefit meant the spread of of tablets or third party devices. They are used to gather on-the-spot user issues and replace staff checklists – might help improve the experience.
So, where lies the problem?
Even though a touchscreen fixture provides bathroom users with a convenient feedback method, many screens are dirty and unhygienic. After all, they have been in contact with many people each day, (user and employee). This means they accumulate germs from everyone.
Most of the bacteria found on surfaces in public areas originate from people’s intestines, gut, nose, mouth, throat, and feces. Specifically resulting from poor hygiene practices or just not washing hands after using the restroom. In a 2018 study, Insurance Quotes found an average of 253,857 colony-forming units per square inch of bacteria on airport check-in screens. So reviewing the data, no wonder there is a spread of bacteria.
Accordingly, touchscreens are an incredible technology, but with this technology comes new responsibility- especially in an era of Covid-19.
Remember that before the pandemic, only 31% of men and 65% of women washed their hands. This research indicates that many people, who use touchscreens in public restrooms of restaurants, office buildings, airports, universities, etc., were spreading germs even before the the current crisis. So what is now different?
COVID – An Attitude Change?
Today, the Coronavirus has changed the world’s view on so many things. One central area that has already seen dramatic change is personal hygiene. Handwashing habits have changed. Specifically people worldwide are taking notice of how often they pat their face, and how often they wash their hands with soap and water – now much higher than the previous study. Which means as hygiene awareness increases, one technology that is declining is the touchscreen – especially in restrooms. They are not only capable of collecting feedback but can spread disease-producing microbes. Specifically they act as another fixture from which disease may arise, and cause person to person spread. No wonder demand is decreasing.
Remember the public are now much more aware of their own exposure:
How bad is it?…What kind of bacteria is on a touchscreen or kiosk?
Germ infected touchscreens play a massive role in spreading drug-resistant bacteria and even Covid-19. One study found some disturbing types of germs on screens at McDonald’s restaurants, some of which were fecal bacteria and other dangerous infections. The latter that can result in blood poisoning. Its presence on a screen is most likely due to a person not following hand hygiene after going to the bathroom.
Another common bacterium found on touchscreens is staphylococcus (staph or staph aureus). Staph bacteria are the most typical causes of food poisoning. They can live on the skin, in the respiratory tract, or nose. Approximately half of the population carries staph aureus without any complications or even knowing it, making it easy to spread between people. Other forms of Staphylococcal species that finds its way to your skin can cause various illnesses, from minor skin infections to more severe diseases. In addition to infection-causing bacteria, viruses that cause colds and flu can spread from infected people to others not only through the air and close personal contact but through contact with a surface, like a touchscreen. When you touch a device at the restroom after several other people, your hands are spreading everything that the device came in contact with.
Importantly, these type of bacteria seem also resistant to anti-bacterial treatment placed on the screen or its fixture. This means a real health hazard to any person connecting with surfaces even if they following handwashing and towel guidelines.
This spread of germs is well documented and now impacting consumer demand in restroom fixtures. So how will business owners react to create a healthier restroom experience?
How will public bathrooms change post-COVID 19, and why go touchless in a restroom?
Despite frequently wiping down kiosk screens with sanitizer, merely cleaning it may not be enough, especially with the prevalence of Covid-19. With 34% of Americans not washing their hands after using the restroom, avoiding germs in a public washroom is nearly an impossible task.
This perceived risk is higher now than before and the Coronavirus is accelerating demand for hands free fixtures. In fact, according to new research:
91% of Americans believe it’s extremely or somewhat important that public restrooms are equipped with touchless fixtures – Bradley Corp.
Touchless as a Solution
To ensure customers’ safety and health and still receive the needed feedback to improve standards, custodial and janitorial managers need to employ more innovative feedback solutions. This includes a recommended 5-step process AND a touchless bathroom feedback system. This might include hands-free faucets, automatic soap dispensers, air hand dryers, sensor flush stalls, and even the removal of toilet handles.
For commercial restrooms, this removes the infection risk from screens yet improves operating standards by enabling on the spot feedback and an opportunity for an immediate resolution. This touchless approach can also replace employee checklists (never used).
Hands free restroom equipment is the future and the Coronavirus has made touchless feedback a must.
Third-party devices or screens are now a disastrous idea – and touchless restrooms are the new order of the day.
As more commercial spaces are reopening around the country, Coronavirus has made touchless features a must-have. Facility and building managers now face the herculean task of keeping these restrooms and the workplace clean and safe while still ensuring a safe way of receiving customer feedback. It is not just about changing washing habits, sanitizer and social distancing anymore.
Touchless restrooms are not only preferred – rather they are demanded.
New Processes Must Include Feedback
Touchless restroom feedback systems like Flushcheck are a convenient and durable method of receiving feedback from customers via their cell phones, avoiding contact with potentially infected surfaces, water, towels, bathroom doors, paper and screens. This touchless system eliminates screen contact, and it also reduces the cost of maintaining, or cleaning those devices.
Contact with germs will decrease with the side benefit that the overall bathroom experience will be elevated and operating costs will decrease.
Restroom managers can now improve maintenance and achieve cost savings by receiving feedback alerts directly from their customer’s phones. Signs within the restroom alert the user give a quick alert if something needs fixing. There’s no need to download an app – feedback can be sent effortlessly through QR code, website, phone call, or text message.
As the busy festive season gets closer, businesses need to better adapt toilet standards to consumers’ increasing safety requirements. If not, public restroom usage may decline yet the negative impression will continue. Specifically, building managers should plan for the hands-free future and introduce a touchless rating tool. Flushcheck enables touchless feedback from users and staff . This helps improve service standards and maintain their brand’s image by delivering restroom hygiene and safety.
For more detail including a short video – check the webpage.