Common Washroom Complaints That Are Easy to Fix
1st October 2019
Unless we want to be tethered to our homes at all times the way that Victorian ladies were forced to, the use of public washroom facilities is absolutely vital to our daily lives. Whether you’re running errands or out having fun with your friends and family, there are few experiences more frustrating than the idea of holding out for the toilet ‘til you get home, with no public washroom nearby.
While some businesses go above and beyond with their washroom design and branding, these facilities do not have to be luxurious or special in order to make a good impression, and not discourage visitors. The most common complaints that customers and visitors make against the washroom services they visit can be easily fixed with a little thought, some forward planning, and just a tiny bit of investment.
Washrooms With A Nasty Odour
Before we even have a chance to look around a room, an unpleasant smell is likely to be the first thing that catches our attention – and 92% of us are thought to experience a bad smell when we use a public washroom. For food establishments in particular, where we often eat with our eyes and noses as well as our mouths, this can be especially off-putting for potential customers hoping to enjoy a pleasant meal.
Of course, it is only natural that unpleasant odours will occur in places such as washrooms, but the important thing is that these smells do not linger. Making sure that each toilet cubicle is stocked with air freshener or some kind of scented device can go a long way in making sure that the room stays as fresh as possible all day – especially if it is too busy to deep clean the facilities during the day.
Washroom attendants should ensure that rubbish bins are kept clean and that the room is well ventilated, if it has windows, to prevent bad odours from lingering. And of course, the cubicle is not the only place where you can leave scented items for customers to enjoy. Using a reed diffuser or automatic air freshener throughout the day can help to create a pleasant first impression upon walking in.
Washrooms With Overflowing Bins
Full bins and overflowing rubbish can be a huge factor in unpleasant odours in a public washroom, as well as creating a risk for vermin infestation. Whether it’s waste paper bins or sanitary bins, any kind of rubbish on display can make for an unpleasant and unhygienic experience.
Ensuring that rubbish bins are emptied regularly can be done by washroom attendants, but sanitary bins must be emptied by an appointed sanitary waste disposal professional. Having a positive and reliable relationship with your provider is vital in ensuring your bins are emptied as often as you need.
If you notice that your sanitary bins are regularly becoming full or overflowing before your collection date, you should alter your collection schedule if possible, or search for an alternative provider that suits your business needs.
Blocked or Dirty Toilets
If your washrooms are suffering with overflowing rubbish, especially if it’s coming from sanitary bins, it’s even more likely that customers will start flushing items down the toilet, causing blockages that can put the whole washroom out of action.
Of course, blocked toilets do not just result from people actively attempting to dispose of items that are not meant to be flushed. Because so many buildings in the UK are old (and subsequently have old and inefficient plumbing), some toilets simply have a weak flush or just get blocked easily with items such as regular toilet paper.
If replacing your washroom toilets is outside of your budget, then taking precautions against ending up with unpleasantly blocked toilets is the best way forward. Alerting customers with signage on how to correctly use the flush is one way in which you can prevent this build-up from occurring.
And if your toilets do get blocked on occasion, it is important to be alert and attentive in dealing with and cleaning up any mess as soon as it happens. Dirty washrooms as a whole are an off-putting experience, but a flooded toilet can be enough to warrant a negative review online, so it’s vital that you remain vigilant.
Washrooms With Lacking Facilities
Finally, just like with anything else in life, it’s the small touches that can make all the difference. There may be nothing aggressively discouraging about a washroom regarding its smell or general appearance, but there’s nothing quite like rummaging for hand sanitiser or a travel sized packet of wet wipes because there’s no more hand soap left.
It’s the small details, like hand soap, paper towels and empty toilet roll that can ruin someone’s experience. However, not only does this give the impression that your washroom services are not a priority for the business, it also becomes a hygiene issue.
After all, if there is no soap or paper towels left for customers to wash their hands, they can easily spread bacteria that can make other customers and staff members ill. If staff members also share the same washrooms as customers in establishments that serve food, a lack of adequate facilities can put doubt in people’s minds as to whether those responsible for handling your food are bringing bacteria with them into the kitchens.
Always keeping enough stock of these sorts of products and being aware and mindful of your peak business times will help avoid the feeling of embarrassment – and negative feedback – when a customer informs you that there is no toilet paper to be found in half the cubicles.
Keeping a public washroom clean, tidy and presentable does not have to be challenging, and you do not need an impressive budget to create an inviting experience for your customers.
Ultimately, a business’s washroom is just as much a part of the establishment as the shop, restaurant or cinema. Treat these facilities as such, and be aware of how they can affect your brand and reputation by giving them the attention and care they need.