"The accessibility and standard of washrooms is a major consideration for disabled people when they are deciding where to visit - whether that be a shopping centre, theatre or restaurant."
An innovative new app has been launched which aims to raise washroom standards in businesses and public places across the UK.
HSG UK in Pride Park, Derby, has developed Cleen App - the UK's first fully integrated washroom review app. The Cleen App is free to download and enables customers and visitors to rate the washrooms in any type of venue from restaurants and shopping centres to sports stadia and airports.
With the Cleen App, users can either compliment accessible and clean washrooms or post complaints and issues they have faced such as dirty basins, no soap or toilet paper, access problems for people with disabilities and lack of baby changing facilities.
The reviews are fun and easy to post by clicking different icons and users can even upload photographs to support their review. These can then be viewed by other Cleen App users so that they can see which venues have good - and poor - washroom facilities and make a choice to visit accordingly.
In addition to the Cleen App, HSG UK have also developed a complete washroom management tool for Businesses and washroom service providers called the Cleen Dashboard. By using the Cleen Dashboard, businesses and washroom services providers can have full and immediate access to an online dashboard highlighting the issues so that they can take action and directly respond to customer feedback. Washroom service providers can also use the Cleen Dashboard to manage their portfolio of washroom clients.
HSG UK Managing Director Simon Rice has drawn on his company's expertise as a market leader in washroom water conservation and services and worked with digital marketing agency Subism in Derby and London to develop the cutting-edge technology.
Mr Rice explained:
"It has long been a bug bear of mine that, in this day and age, we are still faced with washrooms that are dirty, smelly with no toilet paper and overflowing nappy and sanitary bins. Having worked in the washroom industry for many years, I was determined to give the public a voice and turn the tide on the washroom roulette. This enables people to share their experiences - good and bad - so that others can make an informed choice about where to give their patronage. It's a particular issue for the hospitality industry. How many times have we gone to a restaurant and walked out after visiting the washroom - presuming that a grotty loo means a dirty kitchen? Many washrooms are also still not fit for purpose - and therefore badly affect the quality of life - for a large part of our community and particularly for people with disabilities and parents needing baby changing facilities." Mr Rice continued that he was confident that the app would be embraced by a wide range of businesses and venues.
"A positive review is are a good advertisement and marketing tool for a business. When feedback is negative, the business has the information available immediately to address the situation or take their washroom services provider to task. First impressions definitely count and our aim is to improve the world one washroom at a time."
Cleen App was welcomed by Martin Austin, Managing Director of Nimbus Disability. The not for profit company is one of the country's leading providers of disability related advice and support to businesses including managing the now widely recognised Access Card for many major venues across the UK to provide a more efficient and dignified way to communicate needs and evidence disability. He said:
"The accessibility and standard of washrooms is a major consideration for disabled people when they are deciding where to visit - whether that be a shopping centre, theatre or restaurant. Cleen App is therefore a simple and engaging way of giving disabled people a voice to share their experiences - good and bad - to help other people make those decisions. I hope that it will be embraced by businesses in all sectors as there is a growing understanding amongst businesses that disability, simply put, is good for business. Disabled people themselves have spending power in the UK of around £80 billion but this is heavily influenced by their perception of a business's ability and willingness to work with disabled customers and employees. Access to washrooms is sometimes governed by the physical make up of a building but there is no excuse for sub-standard facilities and cleanliness and Cleen app addresses this which is very welcome."
The Cleen App, is available from the App store for Apple devices and the Google Play Store for Android. For further information visit www.cleen.world For businesses and washroom service providers wanting to take advantage of the Cleen Dashboard, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
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