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Is Dirt Scaring Away Your Customers and Hurting Your Productivity?

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People Avoid Businesses with Dirty Bathrooms

If you are wondering if your dirty bathrooms are scaring customers away, you may be surprised to learn that for many businesses the answer is yes. A surprisingly high number of people will avoid a business if the bathrooms are dirty. According to a 2011 poll conducted by Harris Interactive, 94 percent of adults said they would avoid a business in the future if it had dirty bathrooms. Restaurants, hotels and health care facilities topped the list of businesses that customers would avoid due to dirty or unkempt bathrooms, but nearly half of the respondents indicated they would also avoid supermarkets, retail stores and gas stations if the bathrooms were dirty, too.

What Do People Expect? 

Defining dirty isn't always easy as there is room for interpretation. But there are some things nearly everyone expects when they enter your bathroom:

  • Supplies: A bathroom with missing supplies, like toilet paper, paper towels and soap, sends the message that you don't care about your customer's needs.

  • Soap Dispensers: People expect soap dispensers that are easy-to-use and clean. That gooey mass of drippings from previous users is a big turn off to customers. Even though it is soap and should be germ-free, no one wants to deal with a mess left behind by someone else. Likewise, soap dispensers that leak or drip are a sure sign of your neglect.

  • Toilets: Toilets should be sparkling clean and flush smoothly and efficiently. If you think that a sluggish toilet isn't doing any harm, think again. No one wants to wonder if the toilet is going to suddenly overflow or be greeted with waste from a previous user.

  • Sinks: Sinks should be spotless with no ugly stains or crusty buildup around the faucets. While you know it's only a hard water deposit, customers may wonder what else lurks in your sink.

  • Mirrors: Nearly everyone takes a quick look in the mirror before leaving the bathroom. If your mirror is covered in water spots, or even worse soap residue and grime, your customers aren't likely to be pleased.

  • Floors and Walls: Debris on the floor or stains on the walls are sure signs that your bathroom is neglected. Even if the sink and toilet look clean, customers will rethink their assessment if the floor and walls are dirty.

  • Trash Can: Nothing says "dirty bathroom" quite like a cheap trash can overflowing with litter. Invest in a sturdy trash can with a foot pedal and keep it emptied to make your bathroom look clean and tidy.

Sinks Should Be Spotless With No Stains or Crusty Buildup

How You Can Make Improvements 

The obvious answer is to clean the bathroom regularly and check it throughout the day to replenish supplies and spot clean the area. Keep the sink and counter wiped clean and free of spilled water and check that the toilet is functioning properly. Empty the trash before it reaches the point of overflowing. You may also want to install an automatic air freshener to keep the area smelling clean and fresh.

Unless you have your own cleaning crew, consider hiring a professional cleaning company to come in at night and thoroughly clean the bathroom. Depending on the amount of use your bathroom receives, you may need to make this a nightly routine, or may be able to arrange for cleaning several times a week. A professional cleaning company can often perform both office cleaning and bathroom cleaning on the same schedule. Many also provide house cleaning, too.

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