Bathrooms are being scrutinized by millions of travelers now accustomed to using websites and social media to voice their opinions. After all, your business’ bathroom is more than a place to freshen up. It’s considered an indicator of how upscale, current and clean a business establishment is, an extension of its identity. One of the first things people check out on a hotel room or restaurant before they check in or dine in is the bathroom: is it clean? Modern and updated? However, unfortunately, more and more businesses easily forget that nothing dates their spaces more quickly than a tired bathroom.
Never underestimate the impacts of a clean bathroom on your business. According to many studies conducted on different business industries, one common characteristic similar is the ever-rising consumer expectations, especially today when word of mouth is spread ‘virally’ through social media.
Most business owners know that a bad first impression can make a customer’s first experience their last. According to USA Today, nearly 30% of consumers will not step into business again if a dirty bathroom affected their first impression. A survey revealed that 95 percent of people have a negative perception of a retail store if they encounter a dirty restroom.
Today, it’s easier than ever for a customer to spot a problem, take a picture of it and post in different social media networking sites. It will take just minutes for everyone to know about your dirty little secret. According to consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow in his book entitled “Decoding the New Consumer Mind,” modern-day consumers have become extremely reliant on reviews by others like them due to the perceived “objectivity” of what others not connected to the business have to say.
The thought of bad publicity spreading like wildfire online raises the stakes for customer satisfaction across the board, forcing stores, restaurants and other businesses to keep a closer eye on every part of the experience–even improving the state of their business’ bathrooms.
Customers typically assess four key factors in a restroom, including:
- Supplies — Bathrooms should have consumables available for users at all times. This includes toilet paper, hand towels and soap dispensers. The availability of supplies is particularly important for on-the-go customers, which constitutes the majority of a convenience store and gas station patrons.
- Cleanliness — Toilets, urinals, floors and sinks are clean and free of debris. Bathrooms should have a fully operational odor-control system in place.
- Dryness — All areas of the bathroom are dry. This includes dry sink areas and puddle-free floors.
- Function — Bathrooms are properly lit and have quality air circulation. Plumbing, dispensers, locks, hand dryers and baby changing stations are fully operational.
Based on hotel and restaurant reviews, the most common bathroom-related complaints include poor water pressure in the showers, dated showers, sinks and tubs and poor lighting in bathrooms.
Many people would like to think their bathrooms as their sanctuary, so why not aim to make them feel the same even when they are at home away from home? Here are some of the things you can do to update your business’ bathrooms:
- Replace countertops and tiles that show signs of wear, brighten up the colors and modernize the fixtures.
- For luxury hotels, consider incorporating large bathtubs or hot tubs with jets for something a bit more extravagant and relaxing.
- Some guests prefer watching watch TV while they brush their teeth or shave, some facilities have bathroom mirrors that include an integrated flat screen with heaters to prevent the glass from fogging.
- Install luxury bathtubs and high-quality lighting that can dramatically affect the aesthetic of your hotel bathroom, and serve your guests better. Remember, the reason why it is important is that every guest of the hotel has a reason to use the bathroom for grooming. Men need to shave; women need to put their make-up on and blow-dry their hair. A well- lit bathroom is needed.
By doing such simple renovations and additional services, your business can gather higher revenue as your guests start spreading the word of how much your property and services upgraded and developed.
Although you need to invest capital to achieve such upgrades, the benefits you and your business will reap after will be worth it. Guests from all around the world overall strongly agree that they would be willing to pay more for significantly improved bathroom and its amenities.
After all, research finds that today’s number of customers don’t care about how much they pay for a hotel room or restaurant, as long as they feel comfortable, they’re safe and their needs are supplied.