Oftentimes, the first thing people notice when entering a building is the flooring. If it is clean, they will appreciate that the facility prioritizes appearance and the customer experience. Meanwhile, dirty flooring, such as stained carpet, can have the opposite effect. In an age when brick-and-mortar retailers must compete against online sellers, hotels face off against Airbnb rentals and office buildings are matched up against affordable co-working spaces, facilities must take a closer look at their approach to carpet care.
The Results Are In
According to a survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Whittaker from March 26-30, 2020 among 2,012 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, a majority of Americans (93%) say dirty carpet with things like stains, animal hair or food residue in a facility would negatively impact their perception of that business/organization. This makes it extremely important to have a carpet care plan in place and regularly address stains. Not only will this enhance the appearance of carpet, it will prolong its lifespan.
The research breaks down where lapses in carpet care can cause the most reputational damage. Some facilities, like hotels and long-term care facilities, are more likely to experience backlash compared to places like airports and casinos when carpet is not clean. However, the data highlights that carpet care is crucial for nearly all sectors. While convention centers with dirty carpet were the least likely to experience reputational damage compared to other organizations, more than half of Americans agreed that dirty carpet in this type of facility would negatively impact their perception of the business. No business wants to upset every other visitor walking through its doors. To prevent this from happening, facilities need to take care of carpet by using the proper processes, equipment, chemistry and tools.
In addition to shedding light on organizations most at risk when dirty carpet greets guests, the research also provides further insight around how these negative impressions translate into additional problems for businesses. Dirty carpet can cause visitors to have a range of reactions, from forming new perceptions about the facility’s cleanliness levels to more action-oriented consequences like never returning to the facility.
Dirty Carpet Imacts Business
The poll found that more than half of Americans (56%) would look for an alternative facility to use/go to. Half (50%) would spend less time in the facility, which can translate to lower sales. Additionally, nearly one in three (31%) would never return to the facility. Nearly one in four (24%) would write a negative online review about the facility. These reviews have the power to reach thousands of people, making the total impact of this experience even more widespread if prospective visitors decide not to go to the facility due to the lackluster review.
While some facilities consider carpet care to be a lower priority item, this Harris Poll research highlights the detrimental toll that dirty carpet can have on an organization’s reputation and its long-term success. Carpet care must be a top priority, whether you manage a university, long-term care facility, hotel or retail store.
Learn more about the negative impact of stained carpet via our infographic.