What Supplies You Need to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business

Opening your own commercial cleaning business requires more than hiring cleaners and buying the products you can purchase at a box store. Chemicals and cleaning supplies must meet the rigorous standards set forth by government agencies since the health of your co-workers and customers is partially based on how clean and disinfected the office is. Pollock Orora has you covered with our extensive product line of RadianceTM cleaners, disinfectants, and beyond.

Protect Yourself First

You and your co-workers are your business’s most important assets. Protect yourself and others with personal protective equipment (PPE), from face masks and shields to gloves and aprons. The amount of PPEs you wear depends on where you are cleaning. High-risk infection areas, such as hospitals or clinics, need much more heavy-duty protective gear than a traditional office. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives a detailed rundown of proper cleaners, chemicals, and PPEs required for various environments.

Equipment for the Job

To make all surfaces clean necessitates a bevy of chemicals, from glass cleaner to floor polish. Before you take on a client, tour the facility to be cleaned to determine the following:
• What level of sanitation is necessary
• The equipment and chemicals to complete the task

In other words, a client’s kitchen with a polished cement floor has different needs than a client with a carpeted office.

Most cleaning businesses begin with the following:
• LEED-certified vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and various attachments
• Push broom, hand brushes, and dustpan
• Self-wringing or cloth mop and bucket
• Dry mop and pads (disposable or reusable)
• Scrub brushes, varied sizes and shapes
• Cleaning rags (disposable or reusable microfiber cloths)
• Sponges
• Floor polisher/buffer with disposable or reusable pads
• Spray bottles
• Squeegees
• Electrostatic sprayers with disinfectant
• Feather duster
• Laundry bag and bucket for carrying supplies to and from job site

Chemicals needed for a cleaning business may include but are not limited to:
• Window cleaners
• Stainless steel cleaners
• Multi-purpose surface cleaners and sanitizers
• Soap or detergent
• Dishwashing soap and dishwasher detergent
• Bleach or sodium hypochlorite disinfectant or equivalent
• Gel or other viscous cleaner/disinfectant for vertical surfaces or hard-to-reach crevices
• Room and bathroom deodorizers and air fresheners
• Bathroom cleaners and sanitizers
• Kitchen cleaners and sanitizers (choose food grade of applicable)
• Heavy-duty degreaser
• Wood/furniture polish or oil
• Oven cleaner
• Descaler for tile and other surfaces
• Carpet cleaner/stain remover

Replenishable stock that you may need for your cleaning business:
• Bathroom tissue with dispensers
• Facial tissue
• Paper napkins with dispensers
• Liquid soap and dispensers
• Hand sanitizer and dispensers
• Trash bags

RadianceTM Cleaning Solutions

Pollock Orora’s line of RadianceTM cleaning solutions gives your business a quality touch without breaking your budget. Here are some of the solutions offered:
• Chemicals: All surfaces inside your business, warehouse, and vehicles remain in great condition with Radiance comprehensive solutions. From floor strippers to bathroom and kitchen cleaners, keep all surfaces in the best, safest condition possible.
• Cleaning equipment: Dispensers for your co-workers and customers ensure only the proper amount of cleaning solution or sanitizer is dispensed.
• Restock items: Rely on Pollock Orora for paper products to clean your bathrooms, kitchens, and workstations. For your shipping needs, our Radiance stretch film will stretch your dollars.

New businesses work smarter with advice from experts. Give Pollock Orora a call at 800-843-7320 for a consultation to train your co-workers on the most modern procedures to safeguard your future clients, and read our blogs for great ideas on how your business can thrive!

Commonly Overlooked Office Supplies (And Why You Need Them)

Your week-long presentation begins this morning and you have everything… except the copies of the slide pages. You finally print them, but where is the stapler? Does it have staples? Sometimes our best-laid plans backfire because of one tiny element we have forgotten in the grand scheme of things. Pollock Orora understands your dilemma and stocks a vast array of office supplies to keep your business running smoothly day after day and presentation after presentation. Here are some of the ones that are most commonly overlooked.

Paper Products

Not all paper products are created equal. Copy paper is essential and generally rated as an office product used daily. It’s the lesser used paper products that may surprise you with their absences. Be sure to keep a stock of the following products on hand:
• Cardstock, both colored and white
• Envelopes, both standard and business
• Sticky notes
• Folders and hanging folders
• Toilet tissue
• Labels

Sticky Stuff

Tape and tape dispensers adorn most desktops. However, this is not the only instrument used to adhere. You might also need the following products:
• Double-sided tape
• Adhesives, regular and glue sticks
• Super glue
• Packing tape
• Masking tape
• Painter’s tape

Shipping Supplies

Along with packing tape, your office is not complete without a selection of boxes to pack your inventory to ship it to your customers or clients. Other essentials include the following:
• Bubble wrap, large and small
• Plastic stretch wrap
• Pallets for large packages
• Postage meter or stamps
• Packing peanuts
• Scissors or box cutters

Forgotten Furnishings

Chairs and desks are a given. However, modern offices have a few twists. These are some items you’ll want to be sure to have in a modern office setting:
• Standing desk, or convertible standing desk
• Shredders, large or personal
• Filing cabinets (even if you are going paperless, you will be surprised how much paper you accrue that needs to be organized)

The majority of the office supplies you lack are only a click away at Pollock Orora. Our co-workers are ready to assist you in creating a well-stocked office with perfectly tailored supplies on hand at all times. Give us a call at 800-843-7320 or shop online by visiting our immense catalog.

What’s the Difference: Domestic vs. Industrial Cleaning Supplies

Owning your own business has been your lifelong dream. You love helping others, and the ability to share your ambition with others is your ideal. Financially, though, it seems like money leaks out of your coffers at every turn. Industrial cleaning supplies are more expensive than what you can pick up at the box store down the street, and they’re much less convenient to order. What’s the difference between the cleaning supplies you use at home and industrial cleaning supplies?

Better Quality

A bottle of cleaner from your local grocery store is less expensive than a similar amount of industrial cleaner, but look at the percentage of chemicals in each one. You will find almost all industrial strength cleaners contain a more concentrated formula of cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants than what you have at home.

Buying professional cleaning supplies in bulk almost always saves money over individual, watered-down home supplies. Industrial cleaning supplies are used more frequently than home cleaners, so they must be less toxic to people.

This leads to a large number of industrial products being gentler for the environment or even considered green.

You usually will not find an industrial floor buffer in a residential home. It follows that you would not find the industrial cleaner for the buffer at home either. Many industrial cleaning products are designed specifically for industrial machinery.

While hospitals and clinics require hospital-grade disinfectants, many offices and restaurants are now turning to the same or similar disinfectants to ensure their customers and co-workers remain healthy. Ordering hospital grade disinfectants is a bonus for your business.

Compliance Standards

All businesses must meet or exceed Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) standards within their specific organizations. Hospitals require different levels of OSHA standards than a restaurant, for example. This includes ensuring all work areas are as safe and free of as many pathogens as possible.

Along with OSHA, restaurants and other venues serving food must meet rigorous board of health standards. These include ensuring surfaces are cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected with food-grade chemicals.

Be sure to be familiar with all levels of compliance – local, state, and national.

Saving Time and Money

Many industrial cleaning products are designed to spray on without wiping off, which saves time.

One of the key differences between home and industrial cleaners is durability. A professional setting needs a disinfectant with staying power and, as such, manufacturers ensure treated surfaces remain clean for as long as the claim states. This also cuts down on the number of times surfaces must be disinfected during the day.


At home, hot water is often a key ingredient to disinfect and clean. For businesses, the less hot water used, the less expensive the process. Manufacturers understand this and have created cleaning products that work well at lower temperatures for businesses.

Take a look at Pollock Orora’s industrial cleaning supplies, and speak with one of our knowledgeable co-workers to learn about which products are best for your company. Call us at 800-843-7320 today.

5 Ways to Avoid Coworker Turnover in the Retail Industry

According to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statics report, co-worker turnover rate across industries is a dismal 57%. Retail, unfortunately, is even more abysmal, hovering between 60% and 65%. How can you create excitement in your co-workers about their jobs and motivate them to meet customer needs every day? Pollock Orora has a handful of ideas on how to increase co-worker retention.

  • Increase advancement

If the majority of your co-workers have topped out, lack of incentive is obvious. More than 9 out of 10 co-workers report they left their past position because they did not have the opportunity to develop and grow.

When a co-worker is hired, determine that person’s goals and ambitions, and help chart a path to meet those goals.

  • If the desired position requires an advanced degree, think about tuition reimbursement.
  • For sales positions, offer contests to boost the competitive aspect of the job.
  • All co-workers benefit greatly from cross-training, which also benefits your company. Let co-workers observe and work with co-workers across your industry to better understand what happens across the company.

Whatever you choose, ensure your co-workers have room for growth. Once a co-worker’s goal is reached, work with that individual to set higher goals.

  • Offer fair compensation

Retail work is fairly similar from one business to the next. If your company’s compensation package is significantly out of line with your competition, your turnover rate will increase. An Achievers study in 2019 reported more than half the workforce would consider leaving their current position for a pay raise, and 20% would leave for increased benefits.

  • Balance work with life

July 2021 was a breaking point for many retail co-workers, with approximately 682,000 individuals walking away from work because of the encroachment of work life into personal life.

    • COVID-19 proved many co-workers can work more cost-effectively and strategically from home. As the pandemic wanes, many companies are telling their co-workers to return to their desks, even with studies proving it is economically more feasible to work remotely. Give your co-workers the option of working from home if they can. According to recent growth patterns, approximately 25% of all co-workers – including those in retail positions – will be remote by 2025.
    • Schedule flexibility is another sticking point for many co-workers. Juggling a busy home life with picking up children from school, planning birthday parties, nursing a sick family member, attending soccer games, and caring for elderly parents leaves large holes in a traditional work day. If your co-workers have the option of working flexible hours throughout the week, chances are retention rates will increase dramatically.
  • Hire the correct person for the position

So often businesses adopt a hiring strategy of choosing the best of 3 or 5 individuals. That does not necessarily imply the person being hired is the perfect fit for that position. Don’t settle. If a position is open longer than anticipated, update the job description and think of increasing the base pay. Remember, quality candidates respond to quality positions. Hiring a co-worker who matches the position vastly improves the chance of retention.

Nearly one third of new hires resign within 6 months because the job is more or less than what they had anticipated. Turn that number around by reviewing job requirements, training strategies, compensation packages, and other aspects of the position to your choice candidates.

  • Create a positive company culture

When co-workers feel appreciated, they are more likely to remain in their current role. Be positive in your words and your actions. Encourage your co-workers with surprise lunches, quick emails with a specific example of a job well done, or a company t-shirt.

Help increase engagement with team-building exercises, company picnics, and family movie or game nights.

Ask for co-worker input before changes are implemented, especially those co-workers who are affected by the changes. When you follow through on comments made from co-worker feedback, the co-workers feel more worthy and that they are being heard.

Pollock Orora knows co-worker turnover is expensive. In fact, replacing a co-worker sometimes costs more than twice his or her salary. Retain your co-workers with advice from Pollock Orora. We are here to assist you!

What’s Causing All These Supply Chain Issues?

A cascade of events has created a worldwide calamity in the access and shipment of goods as we collectively grapple with a supply chain containing several broken links. A survey from fall 2021 stated that 91% of shoppers consider the supply chain before deciding on a purchase. Pollock Orora brings you the rundown of where the links have broken and a tenuous timeframe on when these links could be melded once more.

Economic Practices

Since the 1970s, good economic practices stress that businesses maintain low, just-in-time inventory levels. This keeps overhead down, and with new models of phones, fashions, and vehicles arriving every few months, it makes sense to have a ready line of goods at your disposal without actually housing them in your inventory.

Likewise, a majority of distributors practice on-demand production of those goods without wasting resources on products that will not be readily sold.

With these two low-inventory models, the amount of coordination between buyers, sellers, manufacturers, and shippers is extremely tricky.


For the past 25 years, the trucking industry has been sliding deeper and deeper into challenges. Driver turnover is 94% in larger trucking organizations and slightly more than 79% for smaller companies. Drivers cite infrastructure inadequacies, dropping wages, labor shortages (80,000 unfilled positions as of 2021), and dismal job quality. Considering 70% of domestic goods are shipped via long-haul trucks, the sheer lack of skilled drivers has caused many end-use shelves to be bare of necessary items.

Keep in mind that semi-trucks carry goods intended for freight trains and transport boats as well. Lack of drivers for semis keeps trains in stations and boats in port awaiting full capacity, which delays goods reaching their final destination.

Global Pandemic

One of the links is the COVID-19 pandemic. Without manufacturers, packagers, shippers, and retail establishments, the ability for an average shopper to receive merchandise drops significantly. The initial reaction was to tighten our proverbial belts and wait a few weeks for the first miserable wave of COVID-19 to pass. Once humanity understood lockdown would be longer term, massive amounts of toiletries and electronics were suddenly in high demand with a fraction of the workforce available to deliver.

As restrictions waned, many businesses brought back their co-workers, causing another upheaval as the demand for supplies went from zero to fully stocked in a matter of weeks.

The Great Resignation

In August 2021, co-workers spoke with actions rather than words when 4.3 million Americans resigned. In the warehouse industry, supplying giant brick-and-mortar enterprises as well as online empires, more than 490,000 jobs were available in July 2021. Many of these co-workers were frustrated with low wages, being overworked, and feeling underappreciated. With warehouses empty and hardly anyone driving semi trucks, the supply chain seemed more like several individual broken links rather than a chain.

Major enterprises are enticing co-workers with higher wages, the promise of free college tuition, and a hiring package slightly greater than their competitors’.

Shipping Containers

Ports around the globe are receiving thousands of large shipping containers – the cargo containers of semi trucks and train cars – with no manpower to drive the vehicles to remove those goods from port. This backlog has caused a huge demand for cargo containers for manufacturers to ship goods worldwide, but with the containers bogged in ports and no method for shipping, goods remain in manufacturing facilities or in warehouses.

Political Unrest

Wars cut off supply chains as one country bars the shipment and receipt of goods from another country. The push for globalization has created a strong reliance and interconnected web of worldwide economies. If one or more countries no longer supplies an integral component of a necessary item, the entire market can come crashing down.

Governments and businesses are working to correct many of the issues leading to supply chain breakdown. Economists vary on their estimates of when supplies will meet demand; some believe 4-6 months while others think it will be several more years. Since so many of the links are interconnected, a small degree of change could ease shortages quickly or bog down the process significantly.

You can rely on Pollock Orora to bring you the latest information on global business and how it impacts you.

How to Manage Higher Customer Service Call Volumes

Call volumes have increased significantly in several sectors over the past few years, but how is “high call volume” defined? For a large business, a 10% or greater increase in calls lasting in excess of 2-3 weeks is considered a high call volume. Smaller businesses may experience a greater increase, depending on the number of co-workers manning the phones and the average amount of calls per hour. Regardless of the sheer number of calls, Pollock Orora wants to share methods on managing higher than average call volumes.

Go with the numbers

Rely on historical data as well as more recent numbers to forecast how many co-workers should be available to take customer calls. If the past 2 years have shown an increase in calls between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in October, ensure you have excess skilled co-workers available to take on those challenging times.

The coronavirus pandemic has transferred customer service from a traditional in-person experience to a phone exchange. According to Zendesk’s 2020 Covid-19 Benchmark Snapshot, more than 25% of companies have reported more customer service traffic since February 2020.

Break Out the FAQs

Many customer inquiries are addressed repetitively. Determine which questions are asked most often and create short videos or informational blogs to address those concerns.

Similar to FAQs are online chat platforms embedded in home pages. Customers often browse the website of the company they are phoning, and accessing a co-worker via chat can often answer the question more quickly than speaking to a customer service representative on the phone. Online chats require less time and energy from your co-workers, which means more customers receive service in a shorter amount of time.


Teach your co-workers how to respond when a customer is upset. The normal reaction is to become upset when someone else is upset – humans tend to mirror the person with whom they are communicating. When your co-workers learn to remain calm and smile instead – even when they are on the phone – the customer’s anger level will decrease.

Another important tactic is using “we” rather than “I”. When your co-workers stress the importance of working with the customer rather than for the customer, it can reduce customer stress levels by more than 75% according to Harvard Business Study.


When a customer is disconnected or calls back with another inquiry, the ability to view the previous conversations between that customer and another co-worker is vital. Customers do not appreciate re-telling a long, frustrating story.

Real-time problem solving technology is also an option. While a customer is speaking with your co-worker, the information being shared between the customer and the phone rep is routed to the appropriate technician who can begin working on the situation while the customer is on the line. As the technician works, that information is forwarded to the co-worker on the phone with the customer so everyone involved knows the steps being followed.

Interactive voice response (IVR) software allows customers to receive assistance without human input. A set of questions by the IVR leads to either resources to help the customer, or to a customer service representative.

Call back options

Give your customers the option of being called back (this can be in the form of a recorded message) or to hold for the next available representative (with an estimated wait time). Some technology allows for customers to designate a specific time to be called.

If this technology is not yet available to your company, have your co-workers answer with the company name and immediately state, “Would it be possible to call you back?” Given the option of either an unknown wait time or being called back, 75% of customers choose the latter, according to a recent study.

Change your hold message frequently

When your hold message addresses any situations that may impede immediate assistance, such as when you experience high call volumes, give customers other options to assist them, including times you anticipate significantly lower call volumes. When customers realize how busy your office is at the moment, they can access other resources or wait for the influx of calls to decrease.

Give your customers a more pleasant experience in their phone conversations with your co-workers. Contact Pollock Orora for more customer success strategies.

How to Make Your Retail Store More Sustainable

Sustainability has become a buzzword for many businesses, and customers are paying attention to the positive impact companies are having on the environment. Pollock Orora wants your business to run as smoothly as possible while reaching your sustainability goals. Read below to learn several ideas to generate a green revolution in your company.

Go paperless

Paperless contracts, brochures, and receipts save an enormous amount of carbon for your business. Think about this: if United States businesses only issued paperless receipts, 10 million trees, a billion gallons of water, and 250 million gallons of oil would be saved. Going paperless reduces a business’s carbon footprint and the amount of waste thrown into landfills. Paperless receipts allow you to collect customer information such as email addresses or phone numbers for later contact and give your business a platform to advertise social media, upcoming events, or QR codes linking to your website.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat

Look at your current business strategies. Do you really need to print 1000 copies of a sales event flier? Does in-house correspondence need to be on top-quality, new paper? Do co-workers leave the water running when they wash their hands? Do your co-workers recycle? Even the smallest changes cause huge impacts. Here are a few to consider:

  • Installing filters above EPA standards rather than filters that meet EPA standards could shrink your carbon footprint.
  • If your organization has a fleet of cars, consider more economical vehicles, especially electric or hybrid models.
  • Install energy efficient appliances and lights.
  • Co-workers can find companies to recycle used items. Soft-soled shoes can be repurposed into playground materials to replace sand, and denim jeans create fantastic insulation.
  • If you manufacture your own products, look for recyclable options for your base materials.
  • When you sell products with removable batteries, have customers bring back the non-working batteries for recycling. Landfills and batteries are a poor combination.
  • Use renewable energy

Solar and wind prices are declining, and many power companies offer rebates if your energy consumption is less than your creation. Many areas are now offering hydropower and geothermal options.

If your business resells products from other manufacturers, ask for transparency in their manufacturing processes to ensure their methods include energy conservation models.

Ask for an energy audit

Your local power company, subcontractors, and stand-alone businesses are all ready to examine your energy use and recommend changes to save you money. Small businesses may qualify for a free audit. Learning how your power is consumed aids in finding more efficient methods to save energy, from simple fixes (turning off computers and printers at night or replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs) to more elaborate long-term plans (energy-efficient HVAC systems or double-paned windows).

Create sustainable products

Consumers have been conditioned to purchase clothing or electronics, use them for a year or so, then discard these items. Clothing manufacturers have caught onto this trend. Many major brands advertise inexpensive clothes designed not for durability, but for fashion. Wear them a few times, and when they snag, lose a button, or fade, simply replace them with another cheap item. Look around at many major appliances, and try to find a repair center. Most companies are designing their appliances to last 5 years rather than 30. Create long-lasting products consumers can rely on and repair if necessary.

Along those same lines, consider renting. Even the clothing market is turning to clothing rentals with monthly subscriptions so consumers can wear new outfits for a month or so, then return them for another batch of fashionable attire. Automobiles and appliances have long been rented with favorable results.

Ditch the plastics

Plastic packaging can often be replaced with a plant-based, biodegradable product. Many companies are using refillable glass containers for their liquid products, and food services are offering bamboo utensils in lieu of plastic.

With the current information concerning microplastics and their extreme negative impact on the environment, companies are changing their use of plastics in packaging and one-time use products, and the environment will greatly benefit.

Pollock Orora has information on reducing your carbon footprint and other ideas. Let us know what we can do to help your business succeed.

How the Pandemic Has Impacted the Jan/San Industry

Pollock Orora is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread effects across industries worldwide. While the majority of those effects can be considered negative, a silver lining is emerging along several fronts. One of the sectors positively impacted by COVID-19 is the janitorial and sanitation industry.


Prior to the pandemic, cleaning services were already on the uprise. While trends in occupations nationwide were expected to grow by 5%, the growth rate for cleaning and janitorial services was anticipated to have a 7% growth rate from the 2018 total of 2.15 million co-workers.

During the pandemic

During the pandemic, the general public became rightfully fixated on the virus’s spread. Surfaces once thought to be benign, such as cardboard and stainless steel, were found to harbor the COVID-19 virus for 24-72 hours, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Keeping in mind that a significantly depleted workforce was available as frontline workers, it is no wonder they could not find ample time to wipe down surfaces after every customer interaction.

Many organizations, from retail to motel to healthcare, turned to commercial janitorial businesses to meet the growing need for virus-free surfaces, with many industries demanding hospital grade antiseptics and disinfectants.

Cleaning services noted a tremendous upswing in services – ZipRecruiter noted a 75% increase in the sheer number of ads for sanitation technicians – and custodial technicians became one of the world’s most important members of the workforce.

While most of the world’s population was quarantined, custodial and sanitation workers worked tirelessly, cleaning not only surfaces that may or may not have been contaminated, but within hospitals and clinics where positive cases of COVID-19 were rampant.

Short on supplies

Like most other businesses across the globe, the supply chain affected sanitation and custodial businesses. With demand geared toward higher-grade antimicrobial cleaning, the sheer amount of cleaning products was stretched, and prices are still hovering from 10% to 600% above pre-pandemic levels.

Cleaner buildings

While the rate of COVID-19 cases is finally decelerating, the thoroughness of cleaning is predicted to be a permanent fixture. Many scientists believe the coronavirus will be categorized much like measles or chickenpox, where the illness is still present and can cause extreme illness if the greater part of the world’s population is not vaccinated. Thorough disinfecting is a crucial part of lowering cases of COVID-19.

In retrospect, many jan/san companies realize the importance of cross-training their co-workers, thinking outside the box, communicating with both internal and external customers, and using technology advantageously.

An example of the role of technology in the jan/san industry is no-touch paper towel and hand soap dispensers. These dispensers are now electronically monitored so a remote co-worker is notified if supply runs low without having to be on site to check levels.

Supply chain issues

The pandemic also proved weaknesses in the supply chain. To mitigate supply chain breaks, sanitation industries are creating new products with varied – and often non toxic – chemical components sourced from more reliable companies. Also, rather than relying on 1-2 sources for supplies, many companies are spreading the resources to a wider swath of manufacturers. Even with reliable sources, raw materials will continue to be the largest supply chain breaker in the future.

Sustainability moves

Climate change was highlighted during the COVID-19 lockdown since scientists noted a tremendous uptick on the health of the Earth when humans no longer traversed the world in carbon-spewing vehicles. This trend continues as Earth-friendly products are mass marketed. Companies hiring external jan/san co-workers anticipate sustainable and/or green products will be used to clean and sanitize.

Pollock Orora is here to help your business thrive in a safe, sanitary environment. Give our professional co-workers a call today, and we’ll help you make SOLVED happen.

Commercial Cleaning

Why Communication is Essential in Commercial Cleaning

Ever use a product or service and have to call customer service, only to find that you have to clarify yourself multiple times, or ask multiple questions so you know what’s going on? Or maybe you had to call several times just to get a hold of the right party to talk to! 

Maybe you have someone in your work or personal life who’s difficult to communicate with. You find yourself frustrated and dreading the situation because neither of you can figure out what’s going on. 

Effective communication makes all the difference in the world when it comes to commercial cleaning. Check out these benefits of communication to make sure you reap their rewards: 

  • Happier, More Profitable Customers

When you and your customers are on the same page, life is easy. You can surely recall customers who you got along great with and how easy it was to take care of them. 

You knew their needs and expectations. You knew what to do to meet or exceed them. And if you upsell them on a new product or service, you knew you had a great chance of closing the deal. 

  • Better Work Quality 

When your co-workers understand exactly what to do and how to do it, they more consistently meet your expectations. And if they have a unique problem they need help solving and get a clear answer, they’ll solve it and leave you ecstatic. 

Better work quality means less stress for you. It also means happier customers. And finally, it leads to greater profitability. 

  • Form Long-Lasting Partnerships

Make no mistake about it — it’s incredibly difficult to find a commercial cleaning service to stick with for the long haul. Most hire the nearest warm body they can find and hope to do just enough to keep their customer so they can turn a small profit for a little while. 

When you communicate effectively and consistently over time, your customer notices that. Because not all commercial cleaning services (or any business services for that matter) do it. 

Effective communication can be enough to keep a customer for years when the average length of a relationship in commercial cleaning is much shorter. 

  • Make It Easy to Raise Concerns

Many times, customers leave, and you have no idea why. Effective communication can put an end to that. 

Invite concerns from customers. Ask clarifying questions so you understand exactly what they want. And of course, take the time to solve their problem and explain exactly what you did to fix it. 

Your customers will feel cared for. And it makes it easy for them to stay around even longer. 

  • Clear Up Confusion 

Have you heard the cliche “she said, he heard?” One party means one thing, while the other hears something else entirely. 

Proactively clear up any misunderstandings. If your customer seems frustrated or angry, ask why they feel that way. Then you can address the issue and get the relationship back in good standing again. 

With communication, you really can’t overdo it. Make everything crystal clear so everyone is on the same page. It makes your professional life so much easier. And everyone else is a lot happier and more pleasant to interact with. Plus, your bottom line will thank you for it! 

Making communication a priority is easier said than done. If you need help coming up with communication processes, contact Pollock Orora today. We’ll help you make SOLVED happen in your company.

Retail clothing store

How Omnichannel Experiences are Changing Retail

Are you set up for omnichannel marketing? Hold on. Back up for a second. Let’s define what that even means first. 

Basically, “omnichannel” means a seamless marketing experience for your customers beginning from the first touchpoint and ending with a sale. Along the way, this includes many different channels — desktop, smartphone, your many social media accounts, and it could even include in-store, radio, and TV. 

You don’t necessarily have to be present on all these channels. The goal of omnichannel marketing is to provide a consistent experience on all the channels you decide to integrate. 

Compare this to a “multichannel experience.” In this case, you may be present on many channels. But the experience your customer has won’t be the same for each. This leads to confusion, frustration, and ultimately, lost sales. 

Most businesses today deliver a “multichannel experience.” It’s much more difficult to create a consistent experience across so many different channels. But, it’s a worthwhile endeavor. 

Why Is Omnichannel Marketing Important? 

Is omnichannel marketing really worth the effort? Every business has a blog, website, Facebook page, and maybe a couple other channels. Does it really make that much of a difference to have a consistent brand message across all? 

Yes, it does. Not only can you deliver a more effective brand message, but you can catch more customers at exactly the right time. And that leads to more sales. 

To top it off, COVID has forced many more customers into online shopping. This includes demographics such as baby boomers, who have traditionally resisted e-commerce. 

You just can’t ignore omnichannel marketing anymore. It must be the next approach you add. 

All of America’s largest corporations do it. Just look at Walgreens, Virgin, REI, Starbucks, Sephora, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Spotify, and Apple, for example. 

And remember, just like you read earlier, most businesses in general are not doing this. So it’s a nice competitive advantage too! 

How Do You Create an Omnichannel Experience? 

First, understand it’s not fast or easy. Put in its simplest form, you need to have consistent messaging, visuals, and positioning statements across all channels. 

At the same time, you don’t want to make everything exactly the same. This could trigger penalties from search engines. So, you want to be appreciably similar. 

Truly, the best thing you can do is to research and learn from some of the aforementioned corporations who already do it well. And make sure to only add on another channel after careful strategizing. 

Omnichannel marketing is changing the face of all retailers. And it will change yours too. So, what’re you waiting for? It’s time to create your strategy so you can reap the sales your competitors are missing out on! 

Need help creating an omnichannel retail experience? Contact Pollock Orora today, and we’ll help you make SOLVED happen.

What customers expect in todays world

What Customers Expect the New Normal to Look Like

What do you think the consumer retail economy will look like going forward? The last two years have been chaotic. While it seems as though we’re getting back to normal, experts talk about COVID mutating and making small comebacks in future years. 

What your customers think matters most. They determine your profitability, and ultimately, whether or not your company continues to exist. 

So what do customers want from retail stores? Take a quick look at what research about their actions says they want: 

  • Two Definite Trends

For starters, consumers want e-commerce availability and a focus on hygiene. 17% of consumers have moved away from their primary store because of the lack of focus on both. Additionally, they also want buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and grocery delivery. The former is up by 28% year-over-year, while the latter is up an astounding 57% over the same timeframe. All this data, by the way, comes from the venerable McKinsey

  • How Brands Make Themselves Look Bad 

Inspire PR Group performed a survey to see what turns consumers off from brands. Their research, as published at Kearney, found that staying open, lack of safety awareness, employee treatment, no discounts, and an unhealthy environment were the leading reasons consumers stayed away from certain brands. 

COVID itself has caused enough havoc. Avoid mistakes like those so you don’t make this situation any harder than it has to be. 

  • Invest in Omnichannel Marketing

You’ve heard us talk about the importance of omnichannel marketing on this blog before. Basically, the vast majority of retailers aren’t doing it. But all the market leaders are. 

The aforementioned McKinsey article again emphasizes the importance of omnichannel marketing. Clearly, COVID has forced consumers towards more digital experiences. So, they don’t need an entirely different experience that confuses them. Rather, they need a consistent experience across all channels that engages them so they can interact with your brand in the way they like most. 

McKinsey is so convinced by this that they recommend “doubling down” on digital marketing investment. And the article at Kearney agrees. 

  • Streamline In-Store Shopping Experiences 

Because consumers really don’t want to spend any more time in your store than they have to, it’s important to make their shopping trip as quick and painless as possible. This means your co-workers out on the floor have become more important than ever. 

Unfortunately, while many retailers have talked about their people being the key to success, few have turned that into action. But now, the article at Kearney asserts, action is imperative. They recommend you use existing people who already understand your products, processes, and culture to increase customer satisfaction and to upsell where it makes sense. 

By offering some form of contactless shopping, with the assistance of one of your co-workers, you can create a unique (and helpful) experience that delights your customers. 

The bottom line to all this is that you have to adjust to your customers’ expectations. Some high-level trends are clear. To make the most of the new market, you’ll have to work out the details. Fortunately, you have plenty of opportunity to grow your market share. 

Still have questions about how you can meet customers’ expectations? Contact Pollock Orora today, and we’ll help you make SOLVED happen in your company. 

How to Create an Ideal Hybrid Work Environment

Will we all go back to the office…or won’t we? Remember predictions that said coronavirus wouldn’t last more than a few months? Others said we’d be back to the office last September. 

The list goes on and on. And really, it’s impossible to tell when COVID and all the associated restrictions will finally pass. They may not ever completely go away. This article from NBC News even says a full return to the office will never happen. 

Working from home

So, the best you can do to cope with it is to prepare for all scenarios. And that means making it feasible for your co-workers to work from both their home and office. 

But that unleashes a whole new set of challenges. So how do you make it work? Here are some thoughts: 

  • The Case For Working In-Office: Innovation

Remote work makes sense most of the time. However, you may need to keep your co-workers coming into the office to at least a minimal extent. 

This is because innovation tends to happen with chance conversations and encounters. Japan-based Fujitsu, and even our own Apple, have designed their offices to make such encounters more frequent. And both companies are leaders in their own right. 

Going forward, this may become less of an issue. Technology will continue to develop to make remote working more relational. For now, however, this remains somewhat of a challenge. 

  • Focus on People and Relationships 

The best way to alienate your co-workers lies in throwing down rules from on high without any of their input. This top-down approach can breed anger, resentment, and frustration. 

During chaotic times, you’re wise to prioritize your co-workers’ concerns. When they feel you care about them personally, they reward you with their loyalty and greatest productivity. 

It takes more time and effort to navigate the complexities of all your co-workers’ concerns. However, your bottom line more than reaps the reward for doing so. 

  • Don’t Let Traditional Thinking Hurt Your Co-Workers

It’s easy to think that because someone’s working remotely, they’re not as effective or useful. But is that the case? Does a co-worker’s utility really diminish because they’re a few hundred miles away? 

Truthfully, research has shown your co-workers only become more productive when working from home. So when you hand out challenging assignments or give promotions, make sure you consider your remote co-workers every bit as much as your in-house ones. 

  • Instill a Sense of Purpose

Ultimately, everyone wants to feel like what they’re doing serves a greater purpose. That drives lasting fulfillment for your co-workers. It leads to the highest levels of productivity. And of course, your bottom line benefits tremendously. 

But finding your company’s true purpose can be hard. So consider the example of DHL. They gave their co-workers a sense of purpose by having them deliver vaccines to the far corners of the world during the pandemic. Wow! That really sounds impressive when you consider it. 

The key is that your purpose has to be greater than money. Money is good. It’s a great reward, but it’s not as motivating as a sense of purpose. Employees won’t care nearly as much about where they work if they have a strong sense of purpose. 

When creating a hybrid work environment, this is what to focus on. Understand this is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that you continually master, just like anything else at your office. Here’s to your success in a rapidly changing work climate! 

Need help moving your company to a hybrid model? Contact Pollock Orora today, and we’ll help you make SOLVED happen for your co-workers.