We have previously discussed how crucial it is to have a comfortable and inviting customer waiting area in your auto repair shop. Female customers, in particular, are much more likely to frequent places they feel safe and relaxed in. Another related concern is the overall cleanliness of your entire facility. From the bays to the waiting area to the bathrooms, your customers will judge your performance on how clean and presentable everything looks. That might not seem fair, but the old adage goes, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” and most people still believe that cleaner is better.
Many owners feel stymied as to how to keep a building clean when customers walk in and out of it continuously, cars in various conditions go in and out, and parts covered with grease and dirt are removed and discarded constantly. It’s a challenge, certainly. Employees can have varying ideas about what constitutes cleanliness as well.
Here are some ideas on how to keep things both clean and tidy so your customers will be impressed and not repulsed by your facilities:
Clean the bathroom – If your bathroom isn’t clean, you will lose customers. You won’t know you’re losing them, but you will. There’s something innately disgusting about a dirty bathroom. It makes people feel sick and, therefore, unsafe. Make sure your employees keep a good eye on the bathroom throughout the day. It should be spotless before you open, and stay clean until close.
Have your workers be responsible for their own areas – Advise your employees that part of their job is picking up their own equipment and maintaining a clean area, and back this up with incentives for a job well done (or disincentives for a job poorly done).
Hire a professional cleaning service – While it always makes sense to hold your workers responsible for themselves and the areas they work in, they won’t clean like a professional service will. Before you hire one, however, carefully examine all of your areas from the point of view of a customer and take note of how and how often they get dirty. This will help you to determine how much cleaning you will need to pay for as well as communicate your expectations to the cleaners.
Schedule in cleaning times – If you do not put this on the calendar, it will not happen. Weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly – there are tasks that have to be done every so often that need to be on a list and in a planner. Otherwise, they will not get done and the overall cleanliness of your building will suffer.
Don’t forget the bigger items – Make sure to have your cleaning service come in and do windows, floors, and upholstery on a regular basis as well. Swept floors are not clean floors, and your glass should not have fingerprints on it.
Organize – People respond to organization as well as cleanliness. If an area is clean but untidy, that’s not aesthetically pleasing either. Good organization will make everyone’s job easier, so make a point of putting things in better order, whether that’s addressing one area at a time or doing a complete organizational overhaul with a professional.
All of the above may seem like a lot, but once a building has been thoroughly cleaned and well organized, it only takes a small amount of regular effort to keep it that way. If your shop is interested in attracting a more affluent clientele, cleaning has to become a priority. Everyone responds positively to a better looking auto shop.