Creating a Great First Impression in Your Hotel Through Cleanliness
By Steve Kovacs
To deliver a great first impression of your hotel, consider the cleanliness of your property as you aim to create a memorable experience that keeps customers coming back. According to the 2013 Cleaning Industry Insights Survey from P&G Professional, managers of cleaning operations in the hospitality industry noted that the most important business factor is “keeping customers satisfied” (39 percent).
Guest impressions of a hotel can strongly influence a customer’s experience. The cleanliness of guest rooms, bathrooms, towels, linens and common areas all play an important role in customer satisfaction. In fact, survey respondents from the hospitality industry also noted that the number one cause of worry about cleaning or disinfection overall is “customer dissatisfaction or complaints” (59 percent).
To ensure that customers feel welcome, comfortable, and pampered, hotel properties should create a clean atmosphere from top to bottom. Consider these areas that directly impact guest impressions.
Restrooms – Patrons expect to enter a clean, odor-free restroom when they visit a hotel. In the survey, hospitality cleaning professionals ranked bathrooms as “the most important area to clean” (50 percent) and “the most difficult area to clean” (48 percent). Since restrooms can harbor many different types of germs, it is critical that they be cleaned regularly and correctly.
Additionally, the survey revealed that the most helpful factor for performing cleaning services is “products that get the job done the first time” (57 percent). Multipurpose products that are formulated to remove a broad range of target soils and disinfect simultaneously, such as P&G Professional’s Spic and Span® Disinfecting All-Purpose Spray and Glass Cleaner and Comet® Disinfecting-Sanitizing Bathroom Cleaner, can help get the job done right the first time, which may also help save money by using less product and less labor time. These products are formulated with acid, surfactants and solvents to remove all types of tough-to-clean restroom soil.
Lobby / Entrance – The first-place guests encounter when they enter your hotel is the lobby and front desk, which is why cleanliness in these areas is critical for creating a good first impression. The lobby or entrance was listed as the second “most important area to clean” (16 percent) by hospitality management in the survey. Cleaning this high-traffic area includes regular maintenance of lobby floors, daily cleaning of front desk surfaces and regularly dusting lobby furniture. Dust is something that’s constantly forming and being deposited, and not only detracts from overall cleanliness but can also trigger allergies in customers who are sensitive. Make dusting easier with a Swiffer® Duster that traps and locks up to two times more dust than a dry cloth. Don’t forget to clean lobby windows and doors frequently to keep them free of dirt, sticky handprints and streaks.
Guest Rooms – From the moment guests open the door to their room, they are making judgments on the adequacy of the accommodations. Sight and smell will shape their impressions. A clean, fresh-smelling room can be very welcoming. After thoroughly cleaning guest rooms, add that finishing touch with odor eliminators, such as Febreze®, that offer light, fresh scents and ingredients that can capture or remove odors from the air. These products deal with the odors and keep the smell fresh and clean, rather than overpowering.
Linens and Towels – When linens and towels are perceived as dingy, guests will often complain to the front desk or may even ask to switch rooms. Consider using a proven laundry system, such as the Tide® Professional laundry system, which helps maintain fiber strength and longevity to help keep linens whiter and stronger for longer. Linens, towels and garments washed in highly effective detergents from trusted brands that consumers have used in their homes for decades can also produce familiar softness and freshness on fabric. This can help create a home-like environment for customers while they are away from home and spending time in your hotel.
Exercise Room – Clean, malodor-free conditions must be maintained throughout exercise rooms so guests don’t feel uncomfortable about sharing equipment with strangers. Multipurpose products can clean and disinfect equipment to help create a hygienic environment. Remember to read product labels carefully to confirm if the product is multipurpose and for instructions on proper usage.
Cleanliness should be a top priority in your hotel. Providing a clean environment leaves a great first impression but also drives customer loyalty, keeping guests coming back year after year and even recommending the hotel to others.
About Steve Kovacs
Steve Kovacs is R&D Section Head at P&G Professional, where he leads product development and customer understanding for cleaning product solutions provided for the Hospitality, Healthcare and Building, Cleaning and Maintenance businesses. Prior to joining P&G Professional, he held numerous R&D positions at Procter & Gamble with consumer understanding, product design, and technology development responsibilities spanning many of P&G’s leading brands, including Tide®, Dawn®, Cascade®, Pantene®, Olay®, Ivory®, Pampers®, Always®, Crest® and Vicks®. Steve also has extensive global operations experience which includes assignments in Germany and England. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville and a MBA degree from Xavier University. He is an inventor on seven U.S. patents.