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Better store signs, getting someone inside your door

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In the 1980s and 1990s film processing was a way many drug stores got customers inside their store. Detroit is Perry Drugs was among the many druggists that would have an entire section of the store devoted to low-cost film processing. Each film customer had to come into the store twice – once to drop off the film and a second time to pick up the finished pictures. Both times the druggist had an opportunity to sell them additional goods.

Indeed getting customers through the front door has always been a tremendous challenge for business owners. Customer acquisition costs have increased during the days of the internet and social media.

Knowing this makes it hard to understand why any business owner would post a large sign telling customer they have no rest room.

One of the most common deterrents to getting people in the door is a commonly used sign, “No public restroom”. The magnitude of this sign cannot be understood unless placed in context.

Customers do not expect restrooms in many businesses. For example card stores, most dollar stores and small clothing stores are not anticipated to have a public restroom. The sign in these types of stores is just unnecessary yet many put one up. However larger stores of 25,000 or more square feet and restaurants of all sizes are expected to have public restrooms.

Many business owners and managers see the offering of public restrooms as a public service and look upon it as a marketing expense. With this mindset, seeing customers enter their facility and head straight to the restrooms is not annoying. Often they will witness the same people make a purchase on their way out of the store.

At one combination convenience store/restaurant along the Paint Creek Recreational Trail in Rochester Hills, Mich., proudly proclaims they have no public restrooms. Hikers on hot summer days are probably looking for refreshment but they will not feel welcome here. Not only is there one sign up, this store has two.

If you truly have no rest room, tell the customer once they are inside. If you want to reserve your restroom for paying customer try something like, “To service our customers at high levels, we reserve our restrooms for them.”

This is excerpted from “Send customers a positive message”, part of the “How to” series at, a website based in Rochester Hills, Mich., dedicated to business and individual growth. Used by permission.

© Max Impact, used with permission.

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