The final part of this three-part article explains how to talk to customers about restroom sustainability.

Not only do customers need to understand the functional benefits of the right restroom dispensers, they also need to understand how dispensers can help them save money and work toward environmental and sustainability goals.

“Some clients are very forward-thinking about sustainability and usage reductions, but there are always some clients who don’t want to change what they’re doing,” says McCune.

For instance, there will always be customers who prefer to use folded towels in restrooms, even though there isn’t a mechanism in folded towel dispensing to control excessive usage and waste. Roll towels are more sustainable because usage is controlled, in both automated and manual dispensers — but customers who prefer folded towels may voice resistance about the change in dispensers, expressing concern that roll towel dispensers don’t look as classy.

Once customers are educated about the many types of roll towel dispensers available, however, they tend to come around.

“When you talk to them about the benefits of moving from one scenario to another, they are usually more adaptable to the new format,” says McCune.

Another perk of controlled usage is decreased cost.

“The average savings is about 30 percent,” says Murch. “And users greatly prefer touchless because they’re not having to reach up and come into contact with the dispenser when they grab towels.”

Overall, there are many great sustainable paper towel options that can be recommended for nearly any type of customer.

In facilities that are LEED-certified, or hoping to be, recycled paper products are especially in demand, says Murch.

“Even if customers don’t need a Green Seal towel with 100-percent-recycled fiber, you can still provide a product with high recycled content, which is often considered a value-add, because it makes them feel good to be using a more environmentally friendly product,” he says.

Partnerships Matter

Murch’s staff checks in with customers every day on the job site, but there is also a more formal check-in held every quarter with every customer.

“We do a quarterly customer partner review to have a more high-level discussion about the account, beyond the day-to-day issues,” says Murch. “That review includes the identification of innovative solutions for our customers that are an extension of our values and core mission.”

Providing the latest innovations and technologies for customers is something 4M is able to do, in large part because of its relationship with its supply partners.

“We are always calling on our supply partners for the latest leading-edge technologies, innovations and solutions so that we can provide those for our customers,” says Murch. “Our customers look forward to what we bring to them next. They really value the fact we’re taking the initiative to bring in new solutions.”

Lisa Ridgely is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee. She is a former Deputy Editor of Contracting Profits.

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Building Service Contractors Must Educate Customers On Restroom Options