Why Cleanliness Matters to Customers
There is plenty a business can do to bring in new customers and to ensure repeat customers: Targeted marketing, sales, rewards and loyalty programs. But whatever your customer acquisition and retention strategy, it may all be for nothing if you don’t invest in good commercial cleaning.
Why does Cleanliness matter to a Business?
Imagine going to a restaurant with visibly dirty floors, food left from previous diners on the table and everything is sticky to touch. Even if the food is five stars and the service impeccable, it’s unlikely you’ll come back. It’s highly unlikely you would have even stayed long enough for the food to arrive in the first place.
Research shows that an untidy or unhygienic business premises is one of the biggest customer deterrents. And in a post-2020 world, cleanliness and hygiene are going to matter more than ever. Customers simply will not frequent a business if they feel the cleanliness isn’t up to standard.
Besides customer perceptions, cleanliness is often a legal matter. Different occupational health and safety guidelines, food handling and food service regulations and commercial cleaning regulations are applicable across a range of industries. And there can be severe repercussions for businesses if they do not take cleanliness seriously and a patron is affected as a result. Not only can a business face fines and lawsuits, but the irreparable damage to a business reputation can be enough to drive a company under.
What to Expect from a Clean Business
Clearly an unsanitary business is not going to succeed. But what does running a clean business mean for you?
For starters, you’re more likely to do well in the long run. You are more likely to have improved and regular sales, as well as repeat customers.
Additionally, these customers will generally have a positive overall opinion of your business. They may even think so highly of your business simply because it is clean that they are willing to overlook other issues, like higher prices or slower service.
What does Cleanliness look like in your business?
While your industry and the specifics of your premises will determine exactly what cleanliness means for you, there are some general rules that should be followed.
For example, all areas should be kept neat and tidy. This means removing any clutter and cleaning regularly, whether this is every day or every few hours. Cleaning should include all floors, surfaces, walls and windows, and spot cleaning any spills.
Bathrooms should also be given a thorough clean regularly. In some businesses, it might be necessary to clean bathrooms more than once a day, such as in busy restaurants or childcare centres.
Hand sanitiser should be available to customers to minimise transmission of harmful germs and bacteria.
Additionally, rubbish bins should be available for staff and customers to dispose of garbage. Ensure there is a recycling option available as well. These bins should be emptied at the end of each day or when they become full.
Workers should also maintain good personal hygiene throughout the day. In some environments this may include keeping hair tied back, wearing appropriate clothing or always wearing gloves.
How do you achieve this?
To keep your business as clean as possible — and to enjoy all the benefits this cleanliness provides — you will need strategies in place. This should include strict cleaning protocols and procedures.
For instance, in a hardware store, you may need to clearly outline what is to be done if a product like sawdust is spilt. Make sure this includes not only how the spill should be cleaned up, but how quickly it needs to be handled and if any direction needs to be provided for customers, like a caution sign.
Your procedures should also include using a commercial cleaning service. While employees should clean up after themselves and may have cleaning duties as part of their role, a cleaning professional will always do a better job.
There are lots of ways to improve your business, but a simple one is to prioritise cleanliness. Ensure your business is as successful as it can be by updating your cleaning protocols and procedures now.