It might not be something we like to speak about in polite company, but bathrooms matter. We all need them and in the luxury of our own homes we all have the power to make a trip to the toilet as comfortable, or at least as stress-free, as we like.
But when it comes to public conveniences, we are at the mercy of whoever the proprietor of the establishment happens to be. We are also contending with the fact that public bathrooms get used a lot more than our own private thrones. The combination of high traffic and low attention to basic cleanliness and hygiene can lead to some truly traumatic toilet experiences, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced.
At the other end of the scale, establishments that take the customer experience seriously understand the importance of the washroom. We’ve all seen those one-star Trip Advisor reviews based solely on the state of the bathroom. It really isn’t an area any business can afford to overlook, and it takes time and effort to get it right.
So what do those in charge of public conveniences have to do to create a five-star washroom experience? Here are what we believe are the key things.
This has to the absolute non-negotiable. If all else fails, you simply have to make sure that someone is doing a regular sweep of the facilities to check for issues. The old attitude of cleaning lavatories once morning and night just will not wash with customers – if they come across a blockage, a spillage or a waste bin overflowing, their first thought will be, why hasn’t this been sorted? You can often predict the quality of a washroom experience just from whether it has one of those check-up rotas by the door.
A pleasant aroma
Smell is a very funny thing. Referred to variably as the least understood yet the most direct and emotive of all our senses, we will make subconscious judgements based on smell without even knowing we are doing it. In other words, you can have the most sparklingly clean public lavatory in the world, but if there is a less than pleasant odour lingering, there is a good chance people will not enjoy their experience of using it. And that doesn’t mean the cloying smell of bleach hanging heavy in the air – investing in air fresheners and sterilisers is well worth it for creating a far more pleasant environment.
Tidiness comes next to cleanliness
Although we may not always be aware of how we judge a bathroom by our noses, we are very much conscious of how we see things. One thing is for sure, most people will associate untidiness with a lack of hygiene – it may only be water on the floor, but the fact that it has not been cleaned up makes people question how clean the facilities actually are. Keeping everything as tidy and ordered as possible as well as clean and sterile is important for maintaining the right impression.
Keep amenities stocked up
Finally, there is nothing worse than going into a public bathroom only to find there is no toilet paper left. Nearly as bad is going to wash your hands and finding there is no soap in the dispenser. These are simple things any proprietor can keep on top of, and by association, it pays to make sure that bins are regularly emptied too.
When you are running a busy business, it isn’t easy keeping on top of your public washrooms. But you don’t have to go it alone – professional washroom services by Hygieneco are there to take the stress out of managing your conveniences, offering everything from equipment supply to re-stocking, sanitary waste management to hygiene consultancy.