Safe Shop: Employee Uniforms Increase Consumer Confidence
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Safe Shop: Employee Uniforms Increase Consumer Confidence

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First impressions matter in every industry, and the automotive service aftermarket has its own set of challenges and needs. Extreme temperatures; compact spaces under hoods, under cars; and oily, heavy equipment and dirty parts can quickly and easily make for a grimy technician and messy shop appearance. Your employees define who you are and what your company stands for; the appearance of your facilities and team are a reflection of the services you provide. What impression are you making on your customers?

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Approximately 60% of consumers and B2B survey respondents prefer to buy from employees wearing uniforms, according to a Uniform and Textile Service Association (UTSA) survey conducted by JD Power and Associates. The survey also reported that respondents had more confidence in employees wearing uniforms and found those in uniforms to be more credible. The UTSA study also found that, when choosing a company from whom to buy, both individual consumers and business-to-business buyers preferred to use companies who had uniformed employees over those who did not.

What’s even more compelling is that a strong majority of consumers surveyed feel that the quality of the product or service provided is higher when workers were uniformed. They also feel that uniform wearers are more trustworthy and credible.

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While coordinated uniforms project an image of professionalism and care, uniforms that are also branded with your logo work even harder — promoting your identity everywhere your staff goes, whether it’s to pick up parts or lunch.

Today’s uniforms are engineered to be better than ever before — they are less constricting and soils are much more easily removed. They even provide an increased level of safety for employees.

Cotton/polyester blends have been popular as uniform fabrics because they offer durability, better color retention and soil release properties that can enable them to last two to three times longer.

New textiles combine the advantages of both all-cotton fabrics and cotton/poly blends. Known as hydrophilic fabrics, they have become familiar to athletes and outdoor enthusiasts under brand names such as Nike’s Dri-FIT. Look for a fabric that offers a cotton-like feel as it moves perspiration away from the skin, enhancing comfort for active workers and providing odor resistance.

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Color-retention, durability, soil release and wrinkle resistance of hydrophilic fabrics are as good as or better than 65/35 blends. Consult your uniform service company to make sure you are choosing the uniform fabrics that best meet your objectives.

When participating in a uniform service program, up-front clothing investments are eliminated. You choose which shirts/pants you and your team want, and the uniform rental/leasing company provides weekly cleaning, garment maintenance and workwear replacements, when necessary.

You know that if your waiting area is not tidy and clean, it reflects poorly on the quality of your services, and likewise if your technicians appear disheveled and messy, customers may perceive sloppy work from your establishment. Clean, neat uniforms not only keep your team looking professional at all times, but also keep your facilities in top shape to impress any consumer.

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Sources: Aramark and Cintas

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Ask your uniform provider if their company can also help with:

Mats, logo mats: Make sure your workplace is slip-safe and clean by using rubber-backed mats in doorways and on slick floors. Anti-fatigue mats can be placed behind the service counter for the manager/service writer and in the service bay.

Mops: To help you keep your workplace clean.

Shop towels: A textile service company will ensure that you will always have a clean supply.

Bathroom/sanitation services: Ensure that your employees and customers keep their hands clean and germ-free with a steady supply of cabinet roll towels and hand soap.

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