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Outsourcing cleaning can help 'bricks & mortar' retailers make significant cost savings
Commonsense tells us that cleanliness is a key driver of customer retention and an effective means of adding value in the retail sector. Now a new report from Emprise Services argues that retailers should use cleaning services strategically to enhance the customer experience and increase brand loyalty, whilst driving operational cost savings and efficiencies.
The retail sector is still facing some tough trading conditions with a squeeze on consumer spending set to intensify. As in-store spending still dominates, with 83p in every £1 being spent offline, retailers can use cleaning as an effective means of competitive advantage, particularly if they focus on making the shopping experience offered in their stores superior to their competitors.
Research shows that the appearance of a store has a major impact on whether a consumer chooses to shop there, highlighting the importance of the overall customer experience going beyond good customer service.
Figures from one study, found that 99% of consumers said poor cleanliness would negatively affect their perception of a retail store with unclean washrooms and unpleasant odours rated more highly than poor customer service.
The Emprise report provides a case study from one national retailer, which achieved significant cost savings across its national estate through outsourcing its cleaning services. As a customer-facing brand with more than 250 stores, the retailer recognised the importance of cleanliness and how this could impact on the whole customer experience.
A highly efficient output specification cleaning model was implemented for this retailer, facilitating smarter working and at the same time, driving cost savings. This meant that time could be spent where it was required, not just routinely working through a list of jobs.
With so much importance being placed on cleanliness by consumers and the effect it can have on a brand's reputation, working in partnership with an outside supplier, who can also bring additional expertise, can deliver a number of advantages.
For example, specialist cleaning suppliers know how to reduce costs and maintain a great service, whilst guaranteeing that the responsibility for cleaning lies with the service provider. Further, a specialist cleaning services supplier can bring improved methods and cleaning techniques to the job, which can save resources and reduce energy consumption.
"The business case for retailers to create high standards of cleanliness is clear," argues the report. "With 99% of consumers saying that say poor cleanliness would negatively affect their perception of a retail store and 66% saying they have avoided a place of business based on its appearance, the benefits of having an effective cleaning strategy provides a compelling argument for improving customer retention as well as attracting new customers.
"Cleaning is clearly a big deal for consumers who are constantly looking not just at what they spend their money on but where they spend it too."
To download the full report, visit:
5th December 2013