Monthind Director Simon Biggs, writing in the September edition of Business Time in Essex:
The world is awash with talk of the ‘new normal’ and the cleaning industry is no different. When the government released its five steps ‘to help get Brits safely back to work’ in May this year, it confirmed what we in the industry already knew – the expertise of professional cleaning companies has a key role to play in the national recovery; in keeping people safe and in shaping the ‘new normal’ with which each of us is learning to live.
Cleanliness has never been more important to customers when choosing businesses to work with or frequent. High demand for cleanliness is, of course, not a new phenomenon – a 2017 Proctor & Gamble study found that 95% of pre-COVID customers believed cleanliness can elevate a good business into a great one. However, as COVID-19 has placed customer health at risk in even the most everyday settings, hygiene expectations have reached an even higher level, showing how much value customers will be placing in cleanliness and hygiene standards in the short to medium term.
This raising of expectations creates a major opportunity to build trust in your organisation, by showing customers that you value them enough to invest in protecting their health when they choose to enter your establishment. Delivering consistently impeccable standards of cleanliness and exemplary hygiene practices – such as well sign-posted and well-stocked sanitising stations, guidance on the How and Why of hand hygiene, and the practices of your staff – demonstrates your dedication to the wellbeing of your customers and staff. If you were to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and you were confronted by an empty sanitiser station, or a member of staff removing their PPE at the wrong time, would you shop there again? And how many people would you tell about your experience?
In the ‘new normal’ of cleaning, every customer experience has the potential to make or break reputations. In the same P&G study, 92% of people revealed that they are more likely to recommend a restaurant that is clean rather than dirty. Of course, this is hardly surprising. In our 45 years in the industry, we at Monthind have seen such studies, also featuring the cleanliness of healthcare and washroom facilities, published regularly. Before COVID-19, these were the industries or facilities that customers felt posed the most significant risk to their health. Issues of cleanliness, or lack of, have almost always topped the list of why respondents make a complaint about an establishment, or worse, why they won’t be returning or even choose to make a negative remark. In a COVID-19 world, stepping foot in any shop in any industry contains an element of risk to personal health. We are therefore of the firm belief that falling below customer’s expectations of hygiene and cleanliness will move beyond food, washrooms and healthcare to pose a serious threat to the reputation of organisations working in every industry.
For expert advice on delivering and maintaining the level of cleanliness expected by your customers, talk to one of our expert team today on 01206 215300 or visit www.monthindclean.co.uk for more information.
See the article in Business Time in Essex