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90%+ of your customers are influenced by the cleanliness of your business

“As a customer, is the cleanliness of a business an important factor for you when deciding whether you will be a repeat customer or not?”

Ipsos asked over 1,000 people this question and almost all of them said “yes”. That’s 92% of your potential customers who said the cleanliness of your business will affect their decision to return. And it doesn’t have to be first-hand knowledge. 90% said that simply reading a review that mentioned poor housekeeping would be enough to keep them from trying out a new place.

Before we go any further, maybe you should take a look around; run a wet cloth over that table, pick up that candy wrapper that missed the trash can. . . and do we even need to talk about the state of your restroom?

42% of those surveyed said a filthy restroom was the most off-putting issue, second only to foul smells.

If the foul smell is coming from the restroom, 75% said they’d leave the establishment immediately. Then, 73% would go online and leave a bad review.

If your place is just a little dirty, you might get away with it, as long as you’re not a doctor, restaurant or hotel. 90% of those surveyed said they’d actually consider changing doctors if the waiting room was always filthy. Almost everyone said they’d ask to be moved to a different room if the bedding was dirty (and probably choose a different hotel next time) and 93% would request a different table if the busboy did a bad job cleaning up after the previous diners.

Most of the concerns stem from horror stories consumers have heard about food borne illnesses and people getting sick after staying at a hotel but this isn’t all about germs. The survey respondents put “fingerprints on windows or mirrors” as the 3rd most disturbing issue, even worse (just slightly) than encountering dirty or unkempt workers.

The point of all of this is that customers notice; they notice the dust, the ketchup splash, the empty toilet paper roll and the litter in the parking lot. It all goes into their decision to stay and do business, return with more business and what kind of review they’ll leave your business for all the world to see. Because cleanliness isn’t just about health and safety, though those are primary concerns. It’s about respect for your customers and your ability to serve them properly. What does it say about you if you’re scribbling estimates on the back of an old envelope or handing over reports with grease stains from lunch?

We’re all short on time and money – two things you need to keep a business truly clean. But letting it go and hoping to get by on your talent and /or charm is going to cost you more in lost business than the nightly wage of a good janitorial crew.

No more dirty, little secrets, clearly your company’s reputation is riding on you coming clean.

Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash

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