Why It's Crucial to Pay Attention To Your Business Facilities To Delight Customers

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It may surprise you to learn that the washroom experience can make or break a company’s image, and that bathrooms have become a key battleground for your branding, reputation and the customer experience. In fact, research suggests that people are increasingly happy to spend a little extra money just to use a nicer bathroom facility - even if it means ordering a coffee in a cafe they weren’t planning on going to. Here is why it's crucial to pay attention to your business facilities to delight customers:


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While we all know that the customer experience and the business’ brand is not just the first greeting at the door, it is vital that businesses remember the importance that their washroom facilities have in maintaining a high standard of customer satisfaction. Here are just a few tips on ways to achieve this, and some aspects of your business facilities that you may not have thought to improve.

The First Impression: The Impact of Design

While we may be taught not to judge a book by its cover, the appearance of your facilities can speak louder than their functionality. You cannot predict at what part of the service journey a customer may choose to use your facilities, and if a poor-looking bathroom is the first impression they have of your business, it will be that much harder to ensure they leave satisfied.

Not every business will be in the financial position to theme their facilities with immaculate details, and make their bathrooms worthy of a special social media post. That doesn’t mean that you should neglect design altogether, however. Small details, such as your tiles, your fixtures and fittings and even your bins should look and feel as though they are part of the same space as your business. If your establishment has an old, traditional feel to it, it can be jarring for a customer to walk into a washroom that is sleek and modern with chrome on every surface.

Every experience that your clients have while in your establishment is a part of your business’ brand. Taking note of the way your bathrooms look should make the customer feel as though they are in one unified space, rather than being an afterthought.


Recommended reading: How To Get Customer Feedback That You Can Take Action On


Upon Closer Inspection: A Hygienic Environment

Even if your facilities are themed beautifully and are perfectly on brand, it is still important to ensure that they remain clean and hygienic. It’s a truism that while customers may not notice when a washroom is perfectly clean, they will certainly take note if the opposite is true. Research suggests that as many as 50% of people who have had experienced an unclean restaurant bathroom will spread the word amongst friends and family; certainly not the social media attention a business would hope for. 

Of course, it’s important for every industry and business to keep their washrooms clean, but some establishments are more likely to cause a stink for customers than others. For example, dirty facilities in a restaurant environment can be especially repellent to customers, who may naturally conclude that the kitchens are equally bad. This is particularly true if staff are seen to be using the same washroom facilities as customers and, for example, have no soap with which to wash their hands before returning to work.

Ultimately, cleanliness should be a fundamental principle of any business establishment, and the washroom experience is just one way in which this is communicated to your clients. A spotless and well-maintained facility can not only prevent unpleasant customer complaints, but can also leave a good impression - even if it is a subconscious one.

Behind the Scenes: The Legal Responsibility

When it comes to facilities management, impressing your customers and fulfilling your legal and hygiene responsibilities often go hand in hand. For example, you want your washrooms to be sparkling clean in order to leave a good customer impression, but subpar standards of cleanliness could also negatively impact your hygiene rating, and result in a fine or ban on trading.

There are many aspects of facilities management that customers will not be aware of, but that are still necessary to and impact on their experience. Waste management, and especially sanitary waste disposal, is a crucial part of a public washroom that businesses should pay attention to. With many business owners unaware that providing adequate sanitary disposal is actually a legal responsibility, ensuring you have a reliable and suitable provider means that your customers will never be greeted with overflowing bins or unpleasant odours.

Unlike adding finishing touches such as scents, specially-designed fixtures or interesting bathroom signage, there is nothing particularly glamorous about waste disposal, or ensuring that soaps and hand towels are fully-stocked. However, no customer wants to be checking every cubicle for water and waste paper, or having to remind staff members to fill up paper dispenser. Properly maintaining these services shows that you are always up to speed with the needs of your business and your customers, with even small gestures going a long way.


Recommended reading: Tips to Go Above and Beyond With Customer Service


Just as the quality of your services impacts on your business’ reputation, so too does the washroom experience. After all, a paying customer or client is not simply paying for a single product or service; they are paying for the entire customer experience, from the moment they walk in to the moment they leave. This means that they will, understandably, expect the facilities to reflect the quality of the business itself. 

A truly great bathroom can develop a great reputation of its own, whether it be through social media or word of mouth. By ensuring that your washroom design and features are not only efficient and safe, but also maintain your brand values, you’ll ensure that your customers leave delighted as well as satisfied.

 

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