The Signs of Service

One of the pleasures of moving to a new state is getting to take the driver’s license test.  Since I have been driving for many years, I spent a mere twenty minutes scanning the manual while waiting for my turn.  I did pass the test…but, the hardest part was not the information unique to the state.  It was the road signs generic to all.  We see them so often that if the words are removed, we have a hard time recognizing their directive solely from their shape.  It started me noticing signage everywhere.

Signage communicates a lot about your attitude toward customers.  “No Smoking” can easily become “Thank you for not smoking” and with greater success.  “Overdue Fees” at the library sounds much harsher than “Extended Use fees” like the movie rental store.  “Keep off the Grass” sounds much more parental and controlling than “We Keep This Grass Tidy for Your Enjoyment.”  “Help us…’’ is inclusive; “do not…” is not.  Take a look at the signs you display to your customers.  If your signage was the only feature your customers had to determine how you felt about them, what would they conclude?


About Chip&John

Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson are customer loyalty consultants and the authors of several best-selling books. Their newest book is "Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to do About it."
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