Signs That Relay a Hidden Message

What Are The Signs On The Wall Really Saying

Image of a variety of signsI was leaving my bank the other day and I read a sign that said: “Thank you for banking with us, have a nice day.”

This made me realize that a simple message like that can affect your emotions toward a business on a sub-conscious level.

I then went on a rampage, looking for different messages at different businesses, and I found that a lot of messages to be negative.

For example:

NO REFUNDS, ALL SALES FINAL, WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR…, $10 FEE FOR RETURNED CHECKS, NO SHOES–NO SERVICE, SMOKING PROHIBITED, ALTERATIONS NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE, CUSTOMER PARKING ONLY. ALL OTHER WILL BE TOWED AWAY AT OWNER’S EXPENSE. Negative, negative, negative!

The Message Is Important

The message we put out to our customers is important; If it is done in a negative manner we will become accustomed to being at odds with our customers and our employees will think that it is acceptable to behave rudely toward them. Any business is worthless without its customers.

As I was looking at some of the signs I realized that you can just as easily get your point across without being negative.

For example:

Instead of “NO SMOKING,” say, “Welcome to our smoke-free environment!” “NO REFUNDS” could be rephrased as, “Exchange available for any purchase that you’re not satisfied with.”

“ALTERATIONS NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE” could read, “For a small fee we will be happy to take care of your alterations for you.”

Negativity In Our Signs

Notice that the negative signs above are all in capital letters. Try to avoid using all capitals whenever possible, because they make the customer feel as though you are SHOUTING AT THEM!!!

And as far as, “$10 FEE FOR RETURNED CHECKS”, must we really have signs like this? If you have a retail business and you have thousands of people coming in every month, how many bad checks do you get?

Perhaps 0.01% of your total? So, why show negativity toward your many good customers? Unfortunately, you will get bad checks occasionally. but, do you really think a sign of this type will make that much difference?

If you can’t get your money, what’s the use of telling everyone that there’s a $10 fee which you have very little chance of getting anyway? After all, the customer gave you a bad check, to begin with, so they probably don’t have the $10 fee.

Competition is at an all-time high. Customers are skeptical and have many more choices than ever before. This is why simple signs of negativity can drive customers away.

Let’s make our messages more comforting to the soul by coming up with signs that will put a smile on our customers’ faces.

That’s The Way I See It!
Acey Gaspard
A Touch of Business.com