— By Carol L. Carey —
Why hiring a professional pressure washer is good for business.
We no longer live in an age where negative remarks about service or cleanliness are written on a comment card and dropped in a box on the way out of a place of business. Now it’s as easy as snapping a picture and uploading it simultaneously to multiple social media platforms, all the while tagging your location and corporate office. Clicking a one-star and a quick negative, frustration-fueled comment on Yelp, Google Review and more only takes mere seconds. One bad review with photographic evidence can make or break a reputation. Businesses go from popular, fully booked establishments with customers willing to wait on a waitlist….to no interest from customers at all. Empty seats. Such reviews impact customers, employees, your company and, worst of all, your profit!
Many managers think they are on top of cleanliness, especially in their store, but are they really? What constitutes clean in your customers’ eyes? Does your staff ensure the floors are swept, vacuumed or even mopped? Are you dusting regularly and straightening the bathrooms, restocking and cleaning fingerprints and smears off doors? In a restaurant, do they ensure the tables are wiped and dishes clean before serving a customer? While these are important, and even critical, they aren’t the only steps that need to be taken.
We all know first impressions are important, but do you know how long before that impression is made? Researchers have ascertained that first impressions are made within the first 7 seconds during which people begin determining trustworthiness.
In addition to the above listed tasks, there are many little details seen before a customer even enters your establishment. When showcasing your location, the first thing seen is signage. What does your signage say? Does it reflect pride in the brand image? Often managers will say, “Well, it’s lit up, no missing faces or burnt out letters,” but they may forget to ask: “Is it clean?” Does it have black dirty streaks, algae or mold growing on it? What impression is this giving?
A potential customer decides: “Well, I have seen commercials and this establishment has many locations across the country,” so he pulls in and parks. First thing he does, he steps in gum. His wife goes to grab a cart. “Eeeewww!” The cart is sticky and gross. The cart corral has gum stuck on it, and there is garbage overflowing out of the trash can, and spilled drinks creating a puddle underfoot!
But the customer really needs a very particular set of bolts for his DIY project, so despite the negative first impressions, he and his wife decide to hurry inside anyway, even though both mentally have already decided “The business owner doesn’t care, why should I spend my money here?” As they move quickly to the building, they notice the dirty streaked walls and awnings that are discolored and have algae growing on the top, furthering their skepticism of this establishment. The windows are dirty and covered in a thick film, and as for the sidewalks: Were they ever clean and bright? The decision was made right then: “No looking around, we won’t be coming here again!” Who wants to shop at a store that looks neglected and unkempt?
So, what can you do? How can you take such a location and experience and turn it all around? Think “whole picture” inside and outside!
Businesses can reap huge benefits from a thorough concrete, signage and building power wash before the spring begins. After a long harsh winter, customers are ready to get out and enjoy time shopping or eating with friends and family.
Those now-clean signs, cart corrals, concrete surfaces and building exteriors will be the first thing clientele see. Make sure they look the best they can by talking to power washing professionals and ensuring the right service is selected for the best outcome.
What are the advantages of power washing?
- A clean exterior can have a dramatic impact on your revenue. Who wants to shop or eat at a dirty establishment?
- Clean premises encourage people to look around more, making them more likely to spend more money.
- Gum: hardened gum can get sticky again as the concrete heats up, making it a nightmare for the interior of your locations, as well as your customers’ and employees’ shoes, cars and homes.
- It’s not only for outdoors. With the right surface equipment, power washing can be done quickly and effectively for dirty tiles or concrete floors.
- Clean surfaces can reduce health and safety risk. Algae and molds are unattractive and can make concrete surfaces (parking lots, sidewalks and patios) slippery, creating a huge liability if someone were to fall. Algae and molds also cause allergies and other respiratory problems.
- A professional knows what the best equipment is for the job and they know what chemicals can cause harm to your building, surfaces or landscaping. It would not be appealing to have an exceptionally clean exterior but dead and dying landscaping from use of the wrong cleaning agents.
- Power washing is fast, cost-effective and durable, with results lasting for months.
It is easy to overlook what the store’s tidiness could mean; it is, however, important to you that your customers be impressed with the outright cleanliness of your location. Therefore, prioritizing the cleaning of any retail store, both outdoors and indoors, should not be underemphasized. This is core to how well the customers will patronize your store. For this reason, most restaurants and retail locations now hire professionals to quickly and effectively clean their establishments.
— Carol L. Carey is CEO and co-founder of Superior Facility Service Group, Inc., a family owned and operated company specializing in commercial maintenance and repair, bird control and prevention, and disaster restoration. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.superiorfacilityservice.com.