To make a good first impression on a customer, retail cleaning should be a priority. Here are Five tips for maintaining a clean, welcoming storefront.

Given that your business may have a mere seven seconds — or even less — to make a good impression on a customer, retail cleaning should be a priority. In every business, regardless of the industry, cleanliness has a major impact on the customer experience. The 2010 Shopper Forward report by the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council and Integer asserted that cleanliness is the foundation of a shopper’s experience. Additionally, if shoppers question the cleanliness of an establishment, an exceptional overall shopping experience — along with wonderful hospitality and great convenience — means nothing. Once a negative perception has been formed, it can be difficult to overcome — even if it’s inaccurate. Follow these five tips to help you make a good first impression with your storefront.

1. Look Through the Customer’s Eyes on a Daily Basis

It’s human nature to stop paying attention to what you’ve seen before. Plus, if your employee entrance is different from your customer entrance, your storefront can easily develop issues without your knowledge. To avoid this, make sure that someone evaluates your storefront on a daily basis. Whether you or one of your employees makes this a priority, create a formal retail cleaning checklist to make sure your storefront is consistently clean and attractive.

2. Gather Objective Opinions

Hiring a consultant to get recommendations for improving the look and cleanliness of your storefront could reveal opportunities to improve the customer’s first impression. Also, soliciting ideas from your employees, customers or employees that work at neighboring businesses themselves provide you with valuable insights.

3. Do Competitive Research

Make sure to evaluate competitors’ storefronts, and then compare them to yours. This research will help you make sure that your business is on the same level as your competition, and by making your storefront more clean and inviting, you’ll end up winning over customers.

4. Use the Right Products

All retail cleaning products are not created equal. Make sure that your staff is equipped with the right products for the job. If you partner with a service provider, you can rely on them to provide the proper cleaning chemicals and cleaning tools on a regular basis and eliminate emergency trips to the store. Also, many retailers regularly outsource cleaning, such as carpets, windows, awnings, etc. to companies with the equipment to do the job right.

5. Remember There is More to Clean than Meets the Eye

Although what customers see may be the first factors that determine whether they feel a storefront is clean or not, there are many studies that point to the scent as another sense that contributes to first impressions. Make sure that your storefront has a welcoming, multisensory feel in order to attract and retain customers.

Few things are more important to your business than the first impression you make on customers — whether they’re new or returning. In order to make sure your storefront is clean and appealing, follow these five tips. Your customers will appreciate the effort and your business will benefit.