Cleanliness Is Key To Exceptional Customer Experience in Retail Spaces

by Michael Kupneski

Cleanliness can be a key way to provide an exceptional customer experience in any retail space. To provide customers with a top-notch experience in your store, create a cleaning routine that not only addresses all the areas that they frequent, but gives extra attention to high traffic areas like the store entrance, checkout stands, and restrooms. These high-traffic areas can make a big impact on a customer’s first impression.

Following are best practices to help ensure a clean experience for customers. 

  • Simplify Cleaning – According to the 2013 Cleaning Industry Insights Survey from P&G Professional, managers of cleaning operations in the commercial industry, including retail stores, ranked products that get the job done the first time as the most helpful factor for performing cleaning services.

Multipurpose products from trusted manufacturers can clean a broad class of soils and surfaces, making cleaning easier by reducing the number of products needed and minimizing rework. Multipurpose products also help save time by reducing the complexity of the job, make staff training easier and inventory management simpler.

  • First Glimpse – The entrance to any big-box or retail store, regardless of location, is the customer’s first glimpse of your business. Make it a warm welcome with windows and doors that reflect cleanliness and customer appreciation. Clean the windows frequently to keep them free of dirt, sticky handprints and streaks. 
  • High-Touch Areas – Cluttered, dirty counters with fingerprint marks are not customer friendly. Cleaning staff should clean counters and checkout areas frequently, as they are constantly touched throughout the day. Use multipurpose products, such as Spic and Span® Disinfecting All-Purpose Spray and Glass Cleaner, to clean and disinfect dry surfaces in one step, which can save your cleaning crew time.

Additionally, remind employees to keep counters and checkout stands clutter-free by putting items away as soon as possible. Create designated spots to put all items in their place. 

  • Don’t Forget to Dust – Shelves, furniture, fixtures and electronics can pile on the dust without a proper cleaning program in place. Assign staff to regularly dust these areas and keep them free of dirt. Dust is constantly forming and being deposited, and not only detracts from overall cleanliness but can also trigger allergies in customers who are sensitive. Make dusting easier with a Swiffer Duster. Not only easy to use, Swiffer Dusters trap and lock up to 2x more dust than a dry cloth.  
  • Keep Restrooms Sparkling – The level of restroom hygiene can greatly affect the overall impression of any business and should be routinely cleaned. According to P&G Professional’s 2013 Cleaning Industry Insights Survey, bathrooms ranked as the most important area to clean (30 percent) and also as the most difficult to clean (52 percent) in the commercial sector.

The goal of an effective restroom cleaning program should be to remove all soils that harbor and provide a breeding ground for germs, not just the visible soils. Bad odors or smells can mean there are still germs present, even if you can’t see the soil. Keeping restrooms clean so they meet public expectations means: surfaces free of noticeable soils and disinfected, emptied trash cans with new liners, no visible graffiti, paper products restocked and operational, no odors, mirrors and chrome spot-free and shining, no stains or discoloration on fixtures/dispensers, and floors free of litter, build up and moisture. Remember, for proper disinfection, always follow the product label instructions. 

  • Attractive Floors – It’s been shown that facility appearance ratings can drop by as much as 75 percent if floor shine makes a bad first impression. A clean floor is literally a reflection of your business. Design a daily routine of dust mopping to help clear away larger elements of surface dirt, and then damp mopping to remove other particulates and oily soil. This helps prevent the floor’s finish from darkening or yellowing from embedded soil. For damp mopping, be sure to start with a clean mop head and clean water, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended dilution ratio for the floor cleaning product. 

To ensure a consistently clean store, it’s important to put protocols into place outlining how and when to clean each area. Setting up a recognition and reward system for employees can help keep everyone motivated to follow cleaning guidelines. 

Following these simple steps can help your business shine and increase customer satisfaction. 

About Michael Kupneski
Michael Kupneski is the R&D Section Head for Procter & Gamble Professional. He is responsible for all formula design, technology development and process development for P&G Professional’s air care, hard surface cleaners and dish products globally.