We live in a world where customer expectations are at an all-time high. Whether in retail, hospitality, healthcare, or corporate offices, the effects of e-commerce and online reviews are putting brick and mortar businesses in a position where they are expected to maintain a level of aesthetic that provides an enhanced customer experience.
It’s essential to engage the customer in a positive experience from the moment they walk through the door. What happens if the customer notices that a door is scratched? What if the floor is scuffed? What if the wall is dirty or the paint is peeled? What if the design is dated? All can directly affect a customer’s perception. In a blink of an eye, that customer has already formed a first and lasting impression of the facility and its business. You can help control this by continuing to manage upkeep, from normal wear and tear, as well as routinely renovating your facilities overall look and feel.
The challenge is doing this on a budget with minimal, or no, impact on daily business operations. Traditional construction methods and materials often continue to be the ‘go to’ solution, even though they do not meet these vital needs.
Luckily, there is another solution. 3M has assembled an extensive portfolio of interior and exterior surface finish solutions that can dramatically increase both cost and time savings when implementing these types of upkeeps and renovation projects. A variety of surface finishes can be conformed to virtually any type of surface, such as: millworks, walls, exterior and interior glass, floors, entryways and exterior facades, to help transform your space.
Cabinets, doors, and countertops, for example, can encounter high traffic resulting in frequent wear and tear. They are also often highly visible components of a facility that contribute strongly to the overall design aesthetic and customer experience.
Traditional upkeep or design modifications include: painting, relaminating, and/or full replacement. These have inherent challenges, such as: odor, cleanliness, facility downtime, costs, and increased contributions to landfill waste. 3M surface finish solutions are an excellent replacement to these traditional construction methods.
Typically, hospital maternity ward doors suffer from frequent use. One hospital wanted to avoid the high-cost of repainting all four doors, every three months, or worse, replacing them altogether, so the facility applied 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes on the doors. 3M’s architectural finishes are self-adhering decorative surface finishes that offer the aesthetics of natural materials without the high price tag. The solution allowed the hospital to repurpose existing doors, saving on replacement costs and eliminated the need to dispose of large items in a landfill. This not only led to overall time and cost savings, but also supported the hospital’s sustainability efforts.
Another hospital (PDF, 140 KB) selected DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes, instead of the typical full replacement, to refurbish its general practice units’ in-room cabinets. The result was a total project savings of nearly $250,000, a sustainable reduction in landfill waste contribution, and a significant reduction in the project timeline.
This same approach and methodology have been utilized successfully for a variety of millworks and across multiple types of facilities beyond just the healthcare examples above.
Walls are the largest canvas for a facility, and a key contributor to overall aesthetics. Paint can be costly, as it wears quickly over time and requires significant downtime during the application process. As a durable and cost-effective alternative to paint, DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes can help create a specific mood or atmosphere, and because they are lightweight and self-adhering, can be installed quickly and efficiently.
Glass is another surface that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Glass surfaces can be utilized to create privacy without blocking natural light, highlight branding, improve design aesthetics and create a positive customer experience.
A children’s museum (PDF, 173.27 KB) was challenged with identifying a design solution that would provide unique, ever-changing color to the building’s glass surfaces. The museum wanted a solution that would create as little disturbance to its visitors as possible, so they applied 3M™ DICHROIC Chill and 3M™ DICHROIC Blaze to the building’s towering interior window. The DICHROIC films provided easy application and achieved the appearance of stained glass in addition to a shifting and transparent visual experience.
Ongoing floor maintenance is the most time-consuming and costly cleaning task, yet necessary for both positive first impressions and safety. One solution to prevent high floor care costs is to implement a streamlined cleaning and protection system. The 3M™ Stone Floor Protection System can help significantly reduce cleaning costs, as the system only requires two steps versus the traditional eight and eliminates the need to buff the floor on a weekly basis.
Achieving aesthetics that are both modern and updated is an ongoing and never-ending job. By utilizing lower cost alternative solutions that provide enhanced durability, decreased maintenance costs, and reduced downtime, a facility can balance its bottom line while fostering a positive customer experience.