There are other positives offered by this program. As any technician will attest, cleaning restrooms can be ergonomically challenging, thanks to cramped stalls (made worse by doors that open inwards instead of outwards), wiping the base of toilets, and the frequent bending over this servicing requires. And, when one gets right down to it, cleaning restrooms isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a good time. Certain facilities — such as boys’ restrooms in elementary schools or daycare center restrooms — require more elbow grease and stamina and stronger stomachs from technicians than others. In fact, some janitorial employees find the task so onerous and unappetizing that attrition can become an issue. The touchless system provides a potential remedy to both issues.

As Hyde explains, the technicians “love” this system because it is touchless, making the task of cleaning restrooms far more pleasant and less physically demanding than the traditional method. Consequently, he anticipates that turnover and injury claims will be reduced, along with the associated costs.

As another bonus, incorporating this program into the company’s offerings has boosted its image, helping to position Office Pride as innovative and service-oriented, says Hyde, which has served to make the BSC even more competitive.

“We offer free demos of this process, and when people see it, they’re impressed,” he says. “Even if they don’t purchase the program, we’ve found we’re viewed more favorably. We become the experts.”

As the program was being rolled out, there was initial reluctance among some franchise holders who worried that in order to attract customers pricing would be set too low. Hyde says the company did extensive “time trialing” in order to understand the labor investment, achieving the right balance between the value to customers and profitability. In the end, they managed to “neutralize” the concerns, he says.

A Big Push

Getting up to speed on the touchless process is fairly easy; there isn’t much technical knowledge required, says Hyde. The company offers a training portal on its website that walks franchisees through the program. This is primarily focused on the application rather than how to market the service to customers, since Hyde describes their franchise holders as “pretty savvy business people” who know how to promote.

“What we have to do at the corporate level is to bring home the message of the benefits,” says Hyde. “Once our franchisees understand these, they go out and sell them to their customers.”

Since its introduction, the touchless service has been positioned as optional for franchisees; Office Pride doesn’t mandate that they offer the program, particularly since franchise owners are required to purchase their own machines and other necessary items. However, Hyde says the majority of them have jumped on board. And as those franchisees who haven’t yet embraced the service see the successes realized by the early adopters. The program is picking up new converts — traction Hyde expects will continue and to good benefit.

“This program allows us to increase revenues by upselling to current customers as well as selling to new customer segments,” says Hyde. “This will enable us to accelerate our growth moving forward. By 2020, we would like to see nearly 300 total franchises in our brand.”

Pamela Mills-Senn is a freelancer based in Long Beach, California.

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Clean Deeper, Faster With Touchless Restroom Cleaning