99 percent of retail customers are influenced by poor cleanliness. Retailers can use cleaning services strategically to enhance the customer experience and increase brand loyalty, whilst driving operational cost savings and efficiency, this from a well regarded industry white paper.

The thing about lack of cleanliness is that it sticks in the mind with a persistence that is difficult to budge, whereas poor customer service can be rectified in an instance by a behavioural change.

Fitting rooms, washrooms, payment areas and even the scent in the air can affect how people perceive a retail business. Since first impressions create customer loyalty, it is time to look at how effective your retail centre cleaning is. When one place is dirty, patrons may assume the rest of the location is as well, resulting in poor customer experiences.

The industry white paper reveals cleanliness affects the entire shopping process. People will always prefer a cleaner retail facility over a dirty one, but sometimes the level of cleanliness can have an affect they do not even realise. First impressions are developed the moment customers walk through the doors. An overall tidy retail centre can be the inviting element that gets the shopping process moving. Once first impressions are made outside of the retail outlets themselves, the quality of cleaning done will influence the likelihood of entry into stores and the time spent within.

So, the importance of the overall customer experience goes beyond good customer service. The study, carried out by market research firm Harris Interactive, found that 99 percent of consumers said poor cleanliness would negatively affect their perception of a retail environment with unclean washrooms and unpleasant odours rated higher than poor customer service.

One national retailer, achieved significant cost savings across its national estate through outsourcing its cleaning services. This customer-facing brand with over 250 stores, the importance of cleanliness and how this could impact on the whole customer experience. Choose trusted suppliers of services and janitorial supplies to deliver to a set standard.

According to a survey conducted by ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, 95 percent of shoppers reported that unclean restrooms and unpleasant odours would influence their shopping decisions along with, dirty floors, spills or stains, dirty shopping carts and other factors.

“Shoppers want to feel comfortable when visiting a retail environment and ensuring that the environment is clean and healthy is a crucial part.”, says Dan Wagner, ISSA’s Director of Facility Service Programs.

“The janitorial landscape has changed dramatically in the last five years. We are entering a new normal for cleaning standards in retail facilities management. Retail brands need to be aware of this under-budgeted area and ensure all retail areas are meeting brand standards”

So, the evidence from good research sources is clear. Cleanliness in a shopping environment can be more important than customer service in a shopper’s experience and ultimately willingness to buy and come back. The key to retail centre cleanliness, is through finding good partners both in services and janitorial supplies, who can demonstrate they share an understanding of the shoppers needs.

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