Spring Cleaning is in the Air!
As the weather gets warmer and people venture out from their homes, your retail customer’s traffic will increase. Why not offer your retail customers a spring cleaning overhaul?
Commercial Cleaning Services for Retail Customers
Online shopping has exploded over the last couple of decades and I admit that I often give into its appeal. As a result, brick and mortar stores often struggle to compete for our business. They’re looking for every competitive advantage they can find! If you think about it, shopping online and in a physical store are not really that different, at least when it comes to the importance of the shopping experience. You’re not likely to do your shopping on an online store’s website that’s poorly built, hard to use and filled with pop-up ads. Likewise, you won’t shop a brick and mortar store with sticky floors, nasty bathrooms and filthy windows.
Everyone in business for any length of time knows that in order to build brand loyalty, turn the average customer into a promoter, help your business retain revenue and earn new customers, the experience has to be exceptional. A clean environment is a huge part of that experience and a good spring cleaning is a great way to get your customers on track.
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It’s All About Experience
Have you ever shopped at an Apple store? What did you think about the experience? Let me just tell you that Apple spends an obscene amount of money designing and building their stores just to make you feel a certain way when you enter. I once did some work for a contractor who was building a new Apple store. He told me stories that you would not believe.
For example, when they were assembling the stainless steel wall panels, one of them was 1/64th of an inch out of alignment. 1/64th of an inch! Not one person in a million would have ever noticed, but for Apple, attention to detail is key. After all, Apple has an image to maintain.
One more quick story from the same Apple store. The ceilings of this facility were comprised of Italian silk panels separated by stainless steel strips. All of the stainless steel in the store was specially manufactured just for Apple and required a highly specialized cleaning process and a trained team to get it just right. During the final clean up before the store opened, one of the technicians cleaning the stainless strips accidentally got a fingerprint on the Italian silk. Huge mistake! They contacted the crew in Italy and flew them back to the store just to install one brand new panel.
This was an enormous cost just to ensure that everything was just right. Why go to such extremes and expense? Because the precision and immaculate cleanliness of the store communicates a very specific and important message to their customers; one they have worked for decades to create and maintain. Apple’s dedication to details works and its customers expect nothing less.
The Sales Team
When you think about it, you really are part of the sales team for your retail customers. The work you do for that customer directly impacts their success, and therefore, your success. Do you want to keep your retail customers? Then work to make them successful! Studies show that 66% of customers say they will not shop at a dirty store. If the cleaning service you provide is anything but excellent, you are directly impacting the profitability of your retail client. You can help keep customers coming back. When you define the cleaning tasks for your employees, think about it in terms of a patron visiting that retail establishment. What would the clientele expect? What would you expect?
Why Not Give Your Retail Clients a Good Spring Cleaning?
Wash doors and knobs
Maybe some people don’t notice, but I always do. Filthy doors and handles are unattractive and a great way to spread germs. This is a bathroom door from a place I frequent which shall remain nameless. I’m sure it is just an oversight by their cleaning service….right?
Wash Switch Plates
Much like the doors, switch plates are easy to forget, but we all touch them. Yuck! Keep them clean and disinfected! It only takes half a second to clean one as you’re passing by!
Wash Light Fixtures and Bulbs
Admittedly, this one is a pain, but again, it makes a big difference! Bugs in light fixtures and dust on covers really give an appearance of neglect. Schedule once or twice a year to clean the light fixtures throughout a facility. Schedule this more frequently, if necessary.
Dust and Clean Window Displays
The purpose of displaying merchandise in storefront windows and throughout the store is to entice the buyer to make a purchase. It helps them visualize how wonderful they would look in that outfit (albeit, if they were much skinnier and made of plastic). The idea is to paint a perfect picture that customers will desire, an illusion that appeals to them. If there is dust and dead bugs everywhere, what kind of dream world are we creating?
Buff Re-wax Floors
Nothing classes a place up quite like a shiny, spotless floor! I once had a customer who was a little obsessed with his floors. He had us mop and buff every week and strip and wax once every month. Unfortunately, he overlooked a number of other cleaning issues (but man, did his floors look amazing!).
Clean Ceiling Vents
In addition to ensuring that customers have a constant flow of clean, freshly circulated air, clean air returns and vents demonstrate care for the facility and a desire to provide the optimal customer experience. I once took over the cleaning contract for a long-neglected facility and, I’m not making this up, I had to use a large paint scraper to remove the 2” thick buildup of gunk on the ceiling air returns. Nastiness!
I don’t know of many people who like to clean windows, but it’s hard to promote your product through glass that’s covered with filth and muck! Schedule time to have your front-line employees or your window guy give the storefront glass a good cleaning inside and out. Make the product shine!
It’s amazing that this needs to even be a bullet point, but based on some of the supposedly regularly serviced bathrooms I see, clearly someone hasn’t gotten the message! Beyond the regular cleaning, it’s a great idea to get in there and scrub and sanitize the heck out of every surface. Remove the scale around the faucets, clean the scuff marks off the door, remove graffiti in the stalls, and sanitize surfaces. Using the restroom should not be a stressful experience for anyone.
Baseboards are another often overlooked item, but one that can really contribute to the look and feel of a space. Over time they get scuffed up and covered with dust. Dusting the baseboards should be done on a regular basis, but a good, thorough scrubbing once a year can really make the place feel new!
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Spring Cleaning or Remodel?
Sometimes the facility you’re cleaning really needs more than a spring cleaning. Some places desperately need to be remodeled or maybe demolished, but just the same, cleaning can still make a difference in the customer experience. Don’t let the current condition of the building make you or your employees feel that cleaning is not important. I’ve actually had employees express that sentiment, but it’s wrong. Cleaning still makes a big difference even when a wrecking ball seems more appropriate.
Join the Sales Team
No matter what your retail client is selling, you can be a vital part of their sales team by providing their customers with an enjoyable and memorable shopping experience that keeps them coming back. Remember, if your retail client is successful, SO ARE YOU!