Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How to Chase Customers Away...

Finally caught up on my backlog of The News from Lake Wobegon podcasts while on a walk the other day.

There was a little snippet in the May 2nd episode that really caught my attention:

"And then he heard footsteps, big boots, coming up behind him. It was Art, the proprietor of Art's Baits & Night-O-Rest Motel, who doesn't run a motel anymore because he hates people and he got out of the hospitality business.

He just put up all these warning signs all over: "Don't clean fish on the picnic tables; how many times do I have to tell you?!", and so forth.

Eventually people just didn't come back to the motel."

Very funny. But true.

[Listen to it here (scroll down to "Segment 4"), a direct MP3 link to it here, or listen/subscription via iTunes here. The whole May 2nd News from Lake Wobegon is about 14 minutes; if you want to just hear this snippet, start around the 10 minute mark.]

Have you seen this -- an overload of signs that repel customers?

The example that comes to mind for me is an independent pharmacy in my neighborhood with a door chock-full of negative signage. They've toned it down a bit, but the photo above was taken just today -- the first thing you see as you approach. What kind of experience does this create?

What examples have you seen?

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