Everyone in business knows the importance of first impressions. In face-to-face meeting scenarios such as attending a job interview or making a pitch for new business, it is believed that most people will make their initial judgement in just seven seconds. If you run a website, you have even less time to convince people – web users take an average of just 2.6 seconds to decide whether to stay on or leave a new page.
Amazingly, when people visit your premises, they could be making a value judgement about your business in even less time than that. And it is all down to one thing – their sense of smell.
It is well known in psychology that the initial snap judgements we make about people, websites, places and just about everything else happen at a subconscious level. When we are out networking, for example, seven seconds is not long enough for us to make any kind of rational judgement based on what a new introduction’s line of business is and what they have to offer. We make an initial assessment based on their body language, tone of voice, facial expressions and so on.
Unlike many of our mammalian cousins, we have fortunately evolved past using our sense of smell in forming opinions about new interpersonal acquaintances. But smell remains a powerful factor in how me make assessments in other situations – about how appetising we believe the food will be in a restaurant or cafe, for example.
Smell is also a very immediate sense. Of all the five senses, it is the one most closely associated with the limbic system of the brain which scientists believe controls memory, mood and emotion. Smells can evoke distant memories our conscious minds have long forgotten, and do so almost immediately. Scents also stir up powerful cocktails of emotions in us, both good and bad, again virtually as our olfactory senses detect them.
This is why it is so important to keep washrooms on your premises not just looking clean and hygienic, but smelling fresh too. For customers, visitors and staff alike, a bad odour in the bathroom is not conducive to the kind of impression most businesses want to create. A malodorous toilet is enough to do harm to the reputation of a restaurant or retail store. You are unlikely to get the best out of your staff if they have been put in a bad mood by an unpleasant aroma in the washroom.
Fortunately, keeping the fragrances in your facilities fresh and dust-free need not be a great challenge. With automated air freshener dispensers, you can supplement regular cleaning by injecting the kind of smells designed to create the right impressions into the atmosphere at regular intervals. You can even hire in washroom management specialists to provide air freshener services, covering everything from supplying the equipment to providing refills and carrying out maintenance as required.