In years past, the thought “out of sight, out of mind” was invoked by patrons basically oblivious to an old, unsanitary mattress hidden underneath a bedsheet and mattress cover in their hotel room. Now however, hotel guests are far more discerning and have become increasingly informed about the cleanliness, or the lack thereof, of their hotel mattresses. Horror stories about bed bugs and unclean bedding can be easily shared (with smartphone photos) and quicklyrun rampant on the web and social media. From a crisis management perspective, flare ups on social media can quickly damage a brand’s reputation and become an immense time suck of company resources.
Also, the issues related to neglecting an old mattress go beyond bedbugs and foul odor. Dangerous bacteria strains such as Staphyococcus Aureus, which is resistant to the penicillin derivative antibiotic methicillin, can infiltrate unsanitary mattresses and become problematic.
Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA, is a strain that may result in infections of the skin such as sores and boils. MSRA bacteria are resistant to drying and can therefore survive on surfaces and fabrics for extended periods of time.
Michael Ingle, CEO of CleanSleep™ - a mobile, high-tech mattress sanitation company based in Dallas, Texas, knows it’s no easy task. “Our researchers spent five years working on the most direct, convenient way to disinfect hard-to-clean surfaces, specifically bedding and mattresses.” Their efforts eventually paid off as the Company recently announced test results demonstrating that their technology effectively eliminates 99.99% of C. diff germs after only a single sanitation cycle through their Clean Sleep Machine™. The results of the testing, conducted at Microchem Laboratory in Round Rock, Texas, also revealed a similarly significant eradication of other dangerous bacteria such as the aforementioned staphylococcus aureus.
But even with the high-tech solution, the fact that the mattress hotel guests are sleeping on is fully sanitized doesn’t necessarily mean anything if the customer is unaware. The process of sanitizing and cleaning also is a significant factor in increasing the overall useful life for the mattress. There is a balance between the tangible and intangible benefits of Clean Sleep sanitation. For property managers, the reputation for cleanliness along with great service are the highest priority towards their guests, so being proactive in exploring and adopting new innovations in cleaning solutions is a must. Since today’s travelers have numerous lodging options including hotels, motels and now VRBOs (vacation rentals by owner) such as AirBnB, being able to differentiate your property brand based on higher sanitary standards becomes even more critical within a highly competitive landscape. The point being that it is far better to provide customers with peace of mind by letting them know that their mattresses are regularly sanitized rather than be caught off guard by an upset patron and back-peddling on questions about hotel property health and sanitation standards. “Get out in front of a potential PR nightmare by being proactive, transparent and promoting your high standards to your guests,” says Ingle.
The first step is to maintain a mattress cleaning schedule rotation using a highly reputable service provider. Also, the service provider should make available some type of verifiable documentation that certifies the level of quality and high standards their service provides. This certification not only informs the customer but also becomes an invaluable PR and marketing tool for the property marketing team.
Since the probability for a major PR headache from disgruntled customers becomes higher by neglecting to inform patrons of the high-quality health standards your property maintains, the goal is to showcase the certification and instill visitor trust, confidence and alleviate their fears. The competitive advantage of the certification is that it provides the opportunity for
hospitality companies to differentiate their services by incorporating a non-core, genuine ancillary service that is valued by their guests. Benefits can be linked to guest comfort, confidence in quality of services provided, along with attracting sales and positive press. Furthermore, it provides a practical solution for maintaining mattresses and other hotel furnishings for extended use.
Certification is a powerful marketing differentiator for hotel properties for several reasons.
1. Quality – A facility that documents the frequency of their mattress cleaning service openly communicates the value it places on high sanitary standards and the importance of cleanliness and detail when it comes to quality of your hotel brand’s core values.
2. Brand Value – Certification for your facility provides opportunities to increase your brand value through transparency, building critical trust of your hotel brand by customers.
3. Customer Retention Strategy – Cleanliness and service are paramount to successful operation of the facilities we service. Customers pay attention to the negative publicity concerning a cleanliness. A pro-active mattress cleaning schedule coupled with a certification is a simple form of messaging that can act as a key differentiator from competitor services as well as facilitate a powerful retention strategy for current and future customers who seek accommodations at, or above their standards.
4. FF&E Maintenance – Replacing all the beds in a hotel is an expensive and time-consuming process. Regular maintenance for the furnishings prohibit the accumulation of contaminants that break down the surface and lead to early replacement. An asset maintenance plan extends the time between replacements and allows for prolonged use of mattresses.
Clean Sleep Technology is built on its unique process, which is faster and more complete than anything else available.