Zurn Blog

Survey Results: Hands-On Restrooms Turn Customers Off to Businesses

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When is the last time you used a public restroom? How did it make you feel? If it wasn’t great, would you return to that business and simply steer clear the restroom next time? Good or bad, your experience left an impression.  

According to a new study, more than half of American customers (58%) say they are less likely to use public restrooms in our current climate.1 Their concerns primarily stem from touching restroom fixtures and poorly cleaned surfaces. Below we break down the main concerns and solutions communicated by the survey.  

Customer Concerns 

While 84% of the survey respondents said they are generally concerned about exposure from people around them, a large majority (67%) also worried about catching germs and viruses from surfaces. This sentiment carries the most weight in restrooms.  

When asked about their restroom experiences, all linked back to manual versus touchless fixtures. Only 46% of customers indicated they were satisfied with these in healthcare facilities. Just one in four were satisfied with their restroom experience in convenience stores. And, 19% of restaurants still have more traditional handwashing and toilet systems.    

But of course, there’s good news. Businesses and organizations continue to problem solve and upgrade, as they always do. Customer peace of mind is their top priority. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of customers indicated they would make more trips to businesses that have touch-free restrooms. In addition, when asked which protective measures would best keep them safe, customers ranked more frequent cleaning and touch-free fixtures as the top two approaches. So, there you have it.  

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Upgrade to Touchless Fixtures for Sure 

There are many choices in the types of touch-free technologies businesses can utilize to promote restroom cleanliness and customer safety. Touchless sensor faucets and flush valves work in tangent to keep hands off surfaces, from flush to wash. That way, the first real touchpoints are the soap and water. Building owners can even install sensor hand dryers or automatic doors to completely remove touch from the restroom equation.  

Consider Smart Fixtures for Further Measure

Smart is the next step to restroom sanitation. Smart or connected faucets and flush valves provide businesses with data-driven insights into use patterns and maintenance needs. This empowers facilities teams to keep restrooms stocked, stay ahead of cleaning tasks, ensure fixtures are operating, and even offer more social distancing with more open stalls, washing stations and occupancy indicators. Facilities managers can even promote handwashing best practices with handwashing scores. They can use that data to know when it’s necessary to sanitize, such as instances with quick wash times or none at all. 

Feedback on Touchless and Smart Fixtures 

Touchless solutions in public restrooms can go a long way in helping businesses rebuild customer confidence. When asked about these technologies, 84% of customers indicated touch-free faucets would make them feel safer, and 81% said touch-free toilets would make them feel safer. In addition, three in four (74%) agreed that visual aids like restroom occupancy capacity LED screens and stall occupancy lights would help with social distancing in public restrooms. 

Measures Customers Can and Do Take 

It’s not all on the businesses and organizations. Customers continue to be proactive in the way they navigate public buildings. Consistent with their concerns, 82% of customers don their own personal protective gear, distance from others and carry individual hand sanitizers. More than half (55%) say they intentionally enter and exit spaces without touching door handles.  

They also appreciate and take advantage of technology that’s available. Customers across age groups consistently say they would use a mobile app to check public restroom conditions, such as the availability of soap and papers towels, when the restroom was last cleaned, the availability of touch-free fixtures, and restroom occupancy capacity.  

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Businesses work hard to maintain positive customer interactions. Customers equally want to support businesses and praise their efforts to create a clean environment. From the survey to spreading the word to friends and family, feedback can help move the restroom experience forward.  

View Touchless Solutions


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1 Survey results gathered from "Restroom Experience Survey 2020" with a total of 580 survey respondents. Zurn Industries, LLC, August 2020.