Whether you oversee a local retail brand with just a few stores or a major chain with locations across the region or country, it’s important for customers to have the same experience at every single one. Cleanliness is one factor that can have a big impact on customer satisfaction. Yet, robust cleaning processes are often not prioritized and followed as closely as they should be.
Keeping Customers in the Store
Unfortunately, in today’s connected world, a lack of cleanliness doesn’t just impact the customers in your store. A single snapshot of a dirty floor or restroom posted to Yelp, Instagram or Facebook could leave many potential customers with a negative impression of your store.
According to a 2016 Harris Poll, 93 percent of U.S. adults would not return to a retailer if they experienced some type of issue related to the facility. This puts even more pressure on retailers to make sure stores are always clean and up to customer standards. The top five factors that would turn patrons away from a store were:
- General bad odor – 78 percent
- Dirty restrooms – 66 percent
- Dirty surfaces – 65 percent
- Entryway cleanliness – 60 percent
- Dressing room conditions – 56 percent
Best Practices for a Consistent Experience
You want a customer to be met with cleanliness, whether they visit your store on a slow Tuesday or a busy Saturday, and whether they walk into your Cincinnati store in the middle of winter or your Florida location on a sunny day.
Consider the following best practices to make sure that cleanliness is always present:
- Define the cleaning standard & processes - It’s important to first collaborate with cleaning partners, such as the cleaning product manufacturer and the building service contractor (BSC), to define the cleaning standard. In other words, what do you want the customer to experience when they visit each store? The cleanliness standard and cleaning processes should consider areas that will have the greatest impact on customers’ buying behavior. This includes visible areas such as restrooms, entryways and floors as well as back-of-house areas where food is handled.
- Select effective and time-saving solutions - To achieve and maintain a standard that will impress customers, organizations will need the proper cleaning machines, tools and chemicals. Consider incorporating solutions like microfiber, dilution control systems, ergonomic and customizable cleaning carts and ride-on auto scrubbers with superior squeegees and a large tank to improve productivity without sacrificing cleanliness.
- Train employees - Employees must have the right tools and fully grasp the cleaning standard and key processes to consistently deliver impressive cleaning results. However, training all employees at one time and in one place is cost-prohibitive and time-consuming when managing multiple stores across several cities or states. Frequent employee turnover can further complicate training. More organizations are opting for online training programs because they are available 24/7 in multiple languages, feature interactive lessons and can be tailored to adult learning styles, job roles and the specific needs of different locations.
- Monitor cleaning performance - It’s often difficult to monitor cleaning performance across multiple locations. However, retail stores can now use a secure auditing platform to collect, analyze and report data in real time to validate cleaning. This system can pinpoint trends for each facility and even specific regions or worker shifts and identify retraining needs to facilitate continuous improvement. Over time, as each store refines its cleaning program, the gap between customers’ expectations and cleaning outcomes becomes smaller.
Upholding cleanliness standards across numerous store locations is a challenge, but essential for impressing every guest and securing repeat business. Cleanliness makes customers feel valued and helps your business avoid unfavorable online reviews and negative word-of-mouth. By adhering to the above best practices, retailers can maintain a consistent image and provide customers with an enjoyable shopping environment that will drive brand loyalty and increased profits.
Diversey’s Feel Welcome Retail Program combines Spotless Floors, Outstanding Washrooms, Safer Hands and Retail Consulting services to help your store provide the best shopping experience. Learn more about the program at www.diversey.com/industry-sectors/retail/feel-welcome-program or reach out at email@example.com.