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Survey Finds Bad Toilets Are Bad for Business
Print Article Contributed by BSM Staff

MENOMONEE FALLS, WI -- The condition of toilets may deter – or attract – customers to a business, according to a recent survey that found clogged or unflushed toilets, unpleasant smells, an overall dirty appearance, and empty or jammed toilet paper dispensers may keep customers away.

Half of respondents who experience unclean toilets vow to never again frequent the business or will think twice before doing so in the future, according to the 2017 Healthy Hand Washing Survey, conducted in the United Arab Emirates by Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures and public toilet accessories.

About a third said they would tell a friend and name the business.

Conversely, there's a positive bottom line to providing pleasant toilet conditions. About 80 percent of Emiratis say they've made a conscious decision to visit a business because they know it has clean, well-maintained toilets.

"The importance of toilet cleaning and maintenance can't be understated when it comes to customer satisfaction and loyalty," says Mohamed Barakat, Middle East international sales manager for Bradley Corporation. "Ninety-one percent of Emirates residents told us they would expect the toilets at a company that produces quality products or services to also offer a high-quality experience. The toilet is a direct reflection of a business."

Despite the high value Emiratis put on good toilet environments, the survey showed a rise in poor conditions. A significant majority (86%) of Emiratis report they've had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public toilet due to the condition of the facilities – a substantial increase from 69% who recalled poor conditions in 2015.

Rising negative encounters mean more tarnished perceptions of the associated businesses. Half of Emiratis believe that an unclean toilet indicates poor management or shows management doesn't care about its customers.

For one-third, an unclean toilet causes them to lower their opinion of the business. When asked what improvements they'd like to see in public toilets, Emiratis named better cleaning and stocking of supplies, more effective technology and touchless fixtures.

The quest for cleaner and touch-free public toilet environments may explain why respondents rank toilet flushers, sinks and handles on cubicles, entrance doors and faucets as the top surfaces they dislike touching.

Further, Emiratis use a variety of techniques to avoid coming in contact with fixtures in a public toilet; 77 percent use a paper towel so they don't have to touch the toilet flusher, door handle or faucet handle. Others hover above the toilet seat and some use their elbow to turn the faucet on or off, operate the flusher or the towel dispenser.

The annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey queried 522 adults across the Emirates about their hand washing habits in public toilets and concerns about germs, colds and the flu. Participants were from around the country, were 18 years and older, and were split between men and women (55 and 45 percent).

More information and infographics are available at www.bradleycorp.com/handwashing/2017handwashingsurveyuae

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