Scott Campbell, Global Product Manager, Hydro Systems
With an increasing number of people vaccinated, businesses are seeing a steady uptick in traffic compared to months prior. While this is a breath of fresh air, it does present new challenges for facility managers. Specifically, restroom cleanliness has become more vital to customer satisfaction than ever before. Consequently, managers need to prioritize restrooms and streamline the cleaning process to give guests the best experience during every visit.
Small Space, Big Impact
Even before the pandemic, restroom cleanliness significantly influenced customer satisfaction.
Bradley Corporation’s 2019 Healthy Handwashing Survey found that 64% of consumers will make a conscious decision to choose a business based on whether it has clean restrooms.
The pandemic has increased concerns about the cleanliness of these spaces. For example, a 2020 survey found that 42% of Americans have used public restrooms less than they did before the onset of COVID-19. While these results can partially be attributed to the fact that people were visiting public buildings less frequently at the height of the pandemic, it demonstrates how sensitive people are about communal environments.
Well-maintained restrooms are essential because they have a positive impact on both an organization’s employees and its customers. For example, a recent Harris Poll found that 90% of Americans believe that employers that pay consistent attention to workplace restroom cleanliness care more about their employees.
Clean restrooms are just as important as friendly staff and efficient service for enhancing the customer experience. Research conducted during the pandemic found that 62% of Americans will spend more money at businesses with a clean restroom, marking a 17% increase from the prior year. Thus, the investment associated with upholding restroom cleanliness is well worth it considering the impact it can have on the bottom line. Whether you operate a restaurant, hotel, or retail or convenience store, regular restroom maintenance is a must.
Resetting your Restroom
Facility managers consistently rank restrooms as difficult to manage. The 2021 CMM In-house/Facility Management Benchmarking Survey Report revealed that four in 10 facility managers say restrooms are the most problematic area to maintain. Consider the following best practices and strategies for keeping your restrooms cleaner:
Washing your Hands of the Pre-pandemic Mindset
Some businesses are growing closer to pre-pandemic levels of foot traffic and others have already achieved this goal thanks to widespread vaccine availability and mandates and restrictions being lifted. However, customers are not returning to pre-pandemic expectations of cleanliness. Businesses that refine their cleaning practices and procedures set themselves apart on the road to recovery. By prioritizing restrooms, managers can successfully adapt to new demands from both customers and employees.
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