Beyond bright lights, aesthetic store signs, and perfectly coordinated interior designs, cleanliness is one of the most important things in ensuring that your customers come back for more. Studies have shown that you are at risk of losing up to 92% of customers if your store is visibly dirty. Expectations and the cost to clean floors have increased over the years especially so since we are living in the middle of a pandemic. Cleanliness is a top concern for people all around the world.
Effectively Communicate Your Cleaning Efforts
Sure, you might only clean your store at night after all the customers have left. However, what customers want to be reassured by are visible cleaning habits. Cleaning your store during retail hours in front of customers will aid in building a positive public perception of your store. What can you do to communicate your cleaning efforts? You can start by modifying your cleaning protocol by cleaning the store during operating hours. You could also put up posters that communicate to customers the cleaning procedures being carried out. Placing disinfecting wipes and providing customers with the option of using hand sanitizers at your store is a sure way of showing customers that their hygiene and safety are of utmost priority.
Standard Operating Procedures
With so many things to keep in mind when cleaning your store, having a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is pivotal in helping you make sure everything is in check. So, what does an SOP for cleaning a retail store look like? A retail SOP includes your daily cleaning schedule with specific instructions on what to do as well as cleaning frequencies that you expect.
Depending on the location of your store, there will be several guidelines from governmental and health organizations that you should be aware of and you should actively seek to follow. Generally, it is expected that a higher frequency of cleaning and disinfecting is needed for surfaces that have a high level of interaction with customers and it is crucial in preventing infections.
Here is a list of things you need to include in your SOP:
- A list of tools and products
- A list of procedures
- A schedule for who will be performing cleaning tasks
- A schedule for who will be performing spot-checks
- The metric used to measure if the cleaning has met the required standards
Above your usual cleaning requirements and practices, there also needs to be time set aside for deep cleaning. Deep cleaning includes your plan for cleaning relatively inaccessible areas such as high ceiling areas, carpets at a deeper level, or windows.
The Different Aspects Of Workplace Cleanliness
As much as it is important to maintain customer satisfaction and your brand’s image, it is equally important to look out for your employees. This includes making sure their workspace is always clean and sanitary which ensures that your employees are always healthy and safe. Since your employees will be involved in the cleaning process, there are some things that you need to take into consideration when coming up with your store’s SOP for cleaning.
- Pick out cleaning products and practices that are environmentally friendly: This habit ensures that the cleaning products used by your employees are safer and not filled with toxins and chemicals that could be extremely carcinogenic. This helps with ensuring your employees stay clear of any respiratory reactions and illnesses. Air quality is also impacted by the type of products used for cleaning. This is why it is important to look out for products that have been cleared as safe to use by third-party verification organizations as well as check the guidelines provided by your governing body to ensure that you are following protocol expectations.
- Focus on building an efficient environment: Pivoting towards robotic cleaning can improve employee satisfaction and can make the cleaning faster. Investing in good robotic cleaning tools can quicken the process of cleaning and this can save your store a lot of time. Ultimately, time is money so putting aside a little bit more money to get these tools will be more beneficial. It can also help prevent any dangerous work accidents.
- Purchasing ergonomic cleaning tools: Doing this can help ensure that your employees are kept away from any workplace accidents and this will contribute to the overall efficiency of your store. This lowers the money spent on cleaning as well. Such tools are made to reduce the number of repetitive cleaning tasks that you have to perform to reach your cleanliness targets. For instance, purchasing a backpack vacuum with a long handle can help your employees clean inaccessible surfaces faster and with an increased level of safety, which would otherwise take a much longer time.
- Floorcare as an important focus for employee safety: Workplace injuries are plagued by spills, trips, and falls. Wet and dirty floors make it much easier for employees to get injured. Hence, buying cleaning tools that can help with cleaning floors quickly and getting them dry quickly will help incredibly in reducing the risk of such incidents occurring. Detergent-free cleaners are an example of such equipment that can help reduce the use of harmful chemicals and are also environmentally friendly, all while making sure your employees do not fall.
This article has outlined why it is important to maintain cleanliness in your retail store. From customer satisfaction to branding, to employee health and safety, there is no good reason not to come up with a comprehensive cleaning SOP for your retail store. While we could give you multiple tips on what equipment or cleaning tools to get, it is more important to refer to the guidelines and requirements set out by the government or health and safety organizations that carry out inspections of stores. Planning your SOP and the tools that you intend you get based on those requirements will help ensure that your store does not run into any unwanted trouble. Investing in good cleaning practices, habits, and procedures, will make your store more efficient in every way and will help you cut costs in the long run.