Toilet Seat Germs and More

By | Business, Paper, Safety, Work Smarter

Using a public restroom can be unpleasant (doesn’t have to be), but are toilet seat germs a deadly threat? The hand dryer might be a greater source of bacteria. If you are a business owner, be aware of the effect your restrooms have on customers’ opinions. One way to work smarter is to work cleaner.

Can You Really Catch Germs From a Public Toilet Seat?

“Developing an infection from your bottom sitting on a toilet seat is very unlikely, as most intestinal diseases involve hand-to-mouth transfer of bacteria as a result of faecal contamination of hands, food and surfaces.”
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Restroom Hand Dryers Are Blowing Bacteria Everywhere

“Restroom hand dryers don’t just blow — they also suck. When they hoover up air, they also siphon in bacteria, which includes microbes carried into the room on people’s skin, and those left behind by waste after a person uses and flushes a lidless toilet. Then, after sucking these microbes up, the dryers spew them out again — in abundance, according to a recent study.”
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Does Your Restroom Give a Bad Impression of Your Business?

“Nearly 70 percent of surveyed Americans say they’ve had an unpleasant restroom experience due to the condition of the facility. Survey participants listed their biggest aggravations as a lack of toilet paper and paper towels, clogged toilets, broken stall doors, foul odors, and an overall dirty or outdated appearance.”
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Yelp Will Now Show You Restaurant Hygiene Scores

“Yelp announced today that the platform will start featuring hygiene scores of restaurants alongside reviews, photos, and other information. As of today, the feature is available in California, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington, DC, but Yelp says it intends to roll the initiative out in other states soon. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of U.S. restaurants should have their hygiene scores listed publicly on Yelp.”
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On a Roll: The History of Toilet Paper and Restroom Paper Products

“The idea of a commercial product designed solely to wipe after restroom use started about 150 years ago in America. When paper products on a roll hit the market in 1890, the idea gained widespread traction and popularity, despite the fact that many consumers were embarrassed to purchase it.”
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Who Nose How Well We Smell?

By | Business, Fragrance, Odor Control

Dog with fake nose and glasses

How many separate smells can humans detect? Who nose? Some say a trillion, others say a few thousand. The sense of smell is mysterious and subjective. We are still learning how to describe and measure scents, and even how to market with them. Nevertheless, there are remarkable examples of people with amazing olfactory abilities. Enjoy this roundup of smell stories.

Smell and Health

“What is a ‘healthy’ smell? Can smells influence health? Bad smells signify a possible hazard … so some diseases smell bad, but not all, for example the breath of diabetics smells sweet. What is a ‘good’ smell and why are there good smells?”
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Surprising New Discoveries About Our Sense of Smell

“Joy could smell a musky odor coming from her husband’s neck area, but she didn’t think much of it, until six years later, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Joy and her husband were attending a Parkinson’s disease support group, and to her astonishment, she detected the same musky smell coming from the other patients. She decided to tell her doctor, who contacted a research lab, which performed a controlled experiment with her.”
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How Many Different Smells Can The Human Nose Actually Detect?

“For this report, we worked with data content firm Priceonomics to analyze anonymized Redbooth data spanning hundreds of thousands of users to determine how and when people complete tasks. We calculated percentages based on the total number of tasks reported as completed.”
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Speaking Perfume: A–Z of Common Fragrance Descriptions

“Who would ever guess that ‘aromatic’ in perfumery parlance means green, camphorous, herbal notes, as opposed to ‘having an aroma,’ as a dictionary would define it? Or how would one define balsamic, aldehydic and floralcy?”
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Inside the Invisible but Influential World of Scent Branding

“Scented environments have been shown to reduce typos made by office workers; improve the perception of product quality; increase purchase intent, average unit sales, and duration of a retail visit or stay among consumers; and boost the willingness of consumers to pay more for a product. But from offices and trade show booths to retail environments and the products themselves, the true power of olfactory branding (also known as scent branding) is in its unique ability to form immediate, powerful, and differentiated emotional connections with customers, particularly within a category of functionally similar offerings.”
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Photo by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

Reliability, the Keystone of Customer Service

By | Business

Stone arch with keystoneYour customers want to count on you. They want to believe you’re going to treat them right, keep your promises, and fix any problems that arise. This is especially true if you have a service business. It is crucial that you make sure your service is reliable.

In his book, Repeat Business, author Larry W. Dennis defines reliability as:

  • Keeping your agreements
  • Keeping your promises
  • Keeping your word
  • Doing what you explicitly say you are going to do
  • Doing what you imply you are going to do
  • Doing what needs to be done

This shouldn’t be too much for customers to expect, yet it seems like it is harder than ever to get reliable service these days. There is no point in telling a customer what they want to hear just to get their business. If you don’t stick to your agreement, you’ve lost any chance for future business from that customer. And they’ll tell everyone they know about their bad experience.

Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. “This may well be the most important of all of these eight rules for good customer service.” Customers do not forget broken promises.

Another aspect of reliability is handling customer complaints effectively. A complaint is an opportunity to engage with a customer in a positive way. If you resolve the problem politely and promptly, you will have made a long-term customer. “Make sure you do not disappoint that customer again. By effectively managing customer complaints, you can build a stronger bond with the customers and build better relationships.”

Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than a business not following through on what they said they would do. The customer feels they’ve been lied to, neglected, and disrespected. Stand out from the crowd of competitors. Provide reliable service, and be the business customers can count on.

Manage Your Time, Your People, and Your Competition

By | Business, Safety, Work Smarter

High dive

If you want to work smarter, you need to manage your time, even if you have to resort to unorthodox methods. You also have to manage your people, which includes finding the best people you can. Your competitors want those people, too, in addition to wanting your customers.

How to Attract Only the Best Job Candidates

“Need workers but not looking forward to combing through resumes from applicants who clearly didn’t read the job description? …Here are a few tips to secure the best candidates for your company.”
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How to Save Yourself When Everyone Else in Your Office is Getting Sick

Un-fun fact for you: This year’s terrible flu season is far from over… So how can you keep yourself healthy when everyone around you is dropping like flies? These tips will help, courtesy of expert Dr. David Reitman, MD, Medical Director at the American University Student Health Center.”
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What To Do When Common Time Management Tricks Don’t Work

“There’s just one problem, you feel like you’ve tried every hack there is, and none of them have proven to be effective. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a life of uncontrollable chaos. You might just need to look beyond what works for most people, or tweak their methods in a way that works best for you and your life. Here are some alternatives you can try.”
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79% of Service Companies Say Competition Is Heating Up

“The second annual Mavenlink State of the Services Economy report for 2018 finds almost 4 in 5 or 79 percent of service companies are facing increased competition. This rivalry is coming from new entrants who are pushing established businesses to work much harder to find new customers and keep existing ones.”
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Germs at the Airport

“[W]e conducted 18 tests across six surfaces from three major U.S. airports and airline flights. We sent our swabs to the lab and found the average number of viable bacteria and fungal cells per square inch, or colony-forming units (CFU), to see how clean traveling really is. Keep reading to see which surfaces were the dirtiest and what germs you may have met along the way.”
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Everybody’s Working for the Weekend, But When Do You Actually Get Work Done?

“For this report, we worked with data content firm Priceonomics to analyze anonymized Redbooth data spanning hundreds of thousands of users to determine how and when people complete tasks. We calculated percentages based on the total number of tasks reported as completed.”
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Quote of the Day

“So you never know who you touch. You never know how or when you’ll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else.” — Denzel Washington

Does Scent Branding Make Sense for Your Business?

By | Business, Fragrance

Scent BrandingBusiness owners and facility managers that ignore scent branding may be missing a great opportunity.

Aire-Master’s mission has always been to “enhance the customer’s image of quality”. Put another way, we help your facility represent and promote your brand. Aire-Master understands that the customer experience is about more than just a transaction; it is about connecting with the brand in a lasting and meaningful way.

Your facility functions as part of your branding effort by engaging all of a visitor’s senses:

  • Signage, architecture, interior design, lighting, etc.
  • Background music, fountains, or quiet spaces.
  • Textures, fabrics, flooring, door handles, and other fixtures.
  • Food service, complementary coffee, mints, or other refreshments.

Our senses don’t work in isolation, and you’ve carefully chosen all of these elements to add up to a total experience. But you might not have given much thought to the other sense — smell.

What if you could engage customers in a subtle but positive way through the sense of smell? Business owners and facility managers that ignore scent branding may be missing a great opportunity.

Aire-Master has a wonderful scent branding program that just might be the missing piece of your branding puzzle. We can help create a calming, or uplifting, or exotic atmosphere in your establishment.

Smell is, in some ways, the most powerful of senses. Humans may be able to distinguish a trillion different odors. A 2014 study estimates that “the human olfactory system, with its hundreds of different olfactory receptors, far outperforms the other senses in the number of physically different stimuli it can discriminate.”

A scent can make an immediate emotional impact or evoke a powerful memory. The key is to keep the fragrance level low. Aire-Master has always advocated, even in odor-control applications, a light, pleasant background aroma. You don’t want to smack your customer in the face with a strong scent, but simply contribute to the overall good experience of the brand. If the fragrance is too noticeable, the customer might think you’re trying to manipulate them and your efforts could backfire.

“A pleasant smell appears to turn on a switch in your brain that shifts your focus to the positive aspects of your environment and blinds you from the negative. The entire experience changes.”

You want your customers to love your brand, and we love a brand when it makes us feel great about ourselves. Aire-Master’s scent branding that can help your brand make a great impression and give your customers the best possible experience.

Simple Adjustments Can Create a Better Work Day

By | Business, Work Smarter

better work day
Our day-to-day activities and physical surroundings can have a huge impact on our productivity — positively or negatively. Many of the tasks we perform each day involve working and communicating with other people. Results generated by these important tasks are only as successful as our interactions with others. We can work smarter by being observant of our environment and by studying the practices and habits of those around us — including being honestly aware of our own behaviors. We can apply what we’ve learned by making simple adjustments to create a better work day, a fantastic week, and an awesome year!

Top 5 Worst Productivity Ideas

“Here are some of the top five traps I find people fall into when they try to increase their productivity. Most of them aren’t bad things in and of themselves. However, if they become your focus, you can be sure you aren’t going to be getting the benefits you are striving for.”
http://bit.ly/2lg2s9w

How Physical Clutter Negatively Affects Your Productivity

“Your ability to focus is restricted in cluttered environments, as well as your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as efficiently as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.”
http://bit.ly/2h9vxii

Mac vs. PC — Which Platform Should Your Small Business Choose

“Mac or PC? This age-old question is something entrepreneurs consider carefully, as the choice of one over the other can influence the success of their business. After thorough deliberation, the odds weigh in Apple’s favor, as more business professionals are choosing Mac over its Windows alternative.”
http://bit.ly/2zPxs3w

Most People Are Failing to Get the Right Amount of Sleep, Survey Says

“It’s no surprise that a lack of sleep can make people slower and less productive. That’s why it’s also not a shocker that two-thirds of American workers say they would be better employees if they got a few more hours of shut-eye.”
http://bit.ly/2z6Yd6i

Here’s a Better (and Less Whiny) Way to Say “That’s Not My Job”

“‘It’s not my job’ has become a phrase commonly used in the workplace. But that doesn’t mean it should be. Sure, this attitude may help you avoid doing extra work, but it’ll probably also prevent you from advancing in your career since you’ll be labeled as someone unwilling to go above and beyond.”
http://muse.cm/2gDz9bW

10 Things Incredibly Likable People Never, Ever Do (and Why You Love Them for It)

“Some people are incredibly likable because of the things they do. Some people are incredibly charismatic because of the things they do. And some people are incredibly likable because of the things they don’t do.”
http://on.inc.com/2lhGXVW

Quote of the Day

“The goal is not to be perfect by the end, the goal is to be better today.” — Simon Sinek

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