the sky floor

Is It Terribly Hard to Flip a Switch?

April 5, 2021

Driving north on Route 59 after running errands on Saturday night, I pass by a Play-Structure and Fence business. It is nine o clock at night, and yet, their OPEN sign is bright and clear as the morning sun. Now, I can’t say for sure since I didn’t stop, but the darkened windows and time of day lead me to believe they were not, in fact, open. 

Errantly illuminated OPEN signs are a huge pet-peeve of mine – top five on my list for sure. Sometimes it is clear that the sign is a liar, like at 9 pm or later. Other times, I have pulled up to a closed business with an OPEN sign turned on in the middle of the day only to discover they are closed on Sundays (you’re my Chick-fil-A). 

Don’t accidentally fail to meet your customer’s expectations.

One of the most significant customer service expectations is what times you are open and being available at those times. You must update your hours on your website, Yelp, and Google Places for this very reason. If you happen to have on your website that you are open, and your OPEN sign is on, but you aren’t there, get ready for some bad reviews and angry phone calls!

How difficult is it to remember to flip the switch? 

The answer is: pretty hard. In the long run, the most monotonous tasks are the easiest to overlook at the end of a long day. Balancing the registers, locking the door, and getting home to rest are much larger priorities than turning the OPEN sign off. 

Make it Stupid Simple.

If you have a retail location with an OPEN sign, buy a smart outletswitch, or old-fashioned mechanical timer outlet. That’s right, automate it! 

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The effort of this automation far outweighs the effort. 

If You Sell Open Signs…

Have you seen open signs illuminated when it wasn’t true? Probably. I imagine that the people who sell these signs have also seen this issue occur in the wild.

It got me thinking – if I sold OPEN signs, I would bundle them with the buyer’s choice of timer switch. Better yet, create a new product with it built-in or make it Wifi or Bluetooth enabled. Solve a problem for your customer before they even have a chance to experience it. 

If you see a consistent problem in your target market, find ways to add value. It is this kind of value that allows you to charge more and sell effectively without sales gimmicks.  

What little details can you make fool-proof? How can you add value to your clients?