Customer Service … IRL (gasp!)

SCRTD - Del Amo Customer Service Center RTD_1119_11[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]I felt inspired to write a post about good customer service.  There are lots of examples of good online or social media-based customer service out there.  This post, however, is about customer service IRL … meaning face to face … without computers … or <gasp!> Facebook.  In other words, no technology was harmed in the writing of this post.

If you’re cool with that, then let’s proceed.  I think you’ll enjoy this.

There are rules and regulations everywhere.  As civilized human beings, we are expected to behave in certain ways in public settings.  We should be at work on time, don’t cut in line, turn off your phone at the movies, etc. (don’t be that guy).

Business have their own set of rules too.  You break it, you buy it.  You’ve seen the signs.  Ensuring that people follow the rules is a way of providing good customer service to the rest of us.  It ensures we have an enjoyable experience while we’re in the establishment.  But what if – in telling us their rules – businesses could convey them in a clever or funny way?  You can let someone know what you expect them to do (or not do) without being a jerk about it.

So with that in mind, I’ve collected some photos over the last year or so that I think convey their message with a positive spin.

No Schlotzskys sign

For those who aren’t familiar, Schlotzsky’s is a sandwich chain.  A really good sandwich chain.  Their slogan is “Funny Name.  Serious Sandwich.”  The photo above shows their take on an old classic.  I love it when people (and in this case, restaurants) can poke fun at themselves.

Chipotle no smoking sign

Now isn’t this a nicer way to tell people not to smoke?  Kudos to Chipotle for using humor … and a little innuendo to make a point.

Embassy Suites - good reason door sign Embassy Suites - pillow fort door sign

Most hotels aren’t known for originality in their “Do Not Disturb” signs.  But the Embassy Suites brand isn’t “most hotels”.  These were taken at the 2010 Social Media Tourism Symposium (#SoMeT) at the Embassy Suites in Loudoun County, VA – our home away from home for the conference. Props to Andy Hayes for the one on the bottom. 🙂  The signs themselves are great.  The really cool part is that these signs are the result of Embassy Suites’ 2007 “Do Not Disturb Hangar Contest”.  You can see the winners here.  They’re clever AND they made the customer a part of the process.  A big win for engagement and customer loyalty.  Oh, and if you noticed a wine bottle in the background of the first Embassy Suites photo?  I have no idea how that got there.  Swear.

Cameron Park Zoo no smoking sign2 Cameron Park Zoo no smoking sign

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a grumpy Gibbon or a testy Tiger!  Am I right?  Signs like these were posted all over Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX when we visited last week for a family Spring Break getaway.

With a little thought, creativity, and humor, we could communicate those dreaded rules and regulations – and maybe, just maybe – bring a smile to someone’s face in the process.

Where have you seen clever or humorous customer service signs like these?

6 Responses

  1. Love today’s blog. You crack me up without offending anyone else! That’s a little wry humor on my part.

  2. Ha! Thanks – glad you enjoyed it. It’s fun to do something a little on the lighter side from time to time. Thanks, Aurora!
    — Sarah

  3. Nice blog post, Sarah. Since I work for an international sign franchise (FASTSIGNS) it is great to see the creativity in the variety of signs and graphics businesses use to inform, direct, or sell to their customers. I would encourage you or any of your readers to also post other funny or creative signs you encounter to our blog site at

    Here is a funny story we posted some time ago:

  4. Hey, thanks for that Chuck! 🙂 I didn’t realize y’all had a blog – LOVE that post about the need for new business signage.

    Words do matter, and that’s why I loved the signs I used in the post. They were able to get their point across without being ugly about it. I love it when people can make me smile.

  5. if you open a business, customer service is always a must. ‘

    <a href="Most recently released article from our blog

  6. Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.:

    Have a look at our own homepage as well

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