10 Ways to Use Signage to Improve Customer Flow

customer flow tipsAny wrinkle in customer flow can lead to problems with safety, efficiency, crowd control, and, most importantly, customer satisfaction. Whether you’re working to facilitate customer flow in a stadium, retail store, amusement park, or parking lot, signage is a big part of a winning equation. Here are 10 simple ways to use signage to your advantage and maintain an optimal movement of people through your facility.

1. Place signage on entrance posts

Don’t underestimate the beauty of logic when it comes to customer flow. A simple “Line Starts Here” post-top sign at the entrance to a queue is a simple yet effective way to maintain customer flow where waiting lines are involved.

2. Place signage at the end of the queue

If you’ve successfully managed to get people through the queue, don’t leave them to their own defenses once they’ve reached the end of the line. For example, “Wait Here” signage at the head of an airport ticketing line can offer a clear wait point for service, preventing customers from crowding behind each other and blocking the flow of those completing their transactions.

3. Use color coding

Use a familiar color coding system, such as red, yellow, and green or develop your own color scheme to create a sense of organization and direction within your facility. Color coding of signage can be especially helpful in stadiums and arenas where various seating configurations are utilized or there are several levels of parking. Consistent color coded signage from entrance to exit and throughout your entire building will help orient visitors and facilitate smooth customer flow.

4. Use iconography

There are universal symbols that everyone can understand and that serve to enhance your customer flow. Accompany text-based signage with an appropriate corresponding icon – male and female silhouettes for restrooms, a suitcase for luggage pick-up, bus and cab icons for public transportation, etc. From stop signs to arrows to escalator symbols, any facility can enhance their messaging and maintain good customer flow by offering various ways for patrons to easily interpret signage and keep on moving.

5. Use retractable belts with directional signage

Combining signage with barricades helps you doubly enforce a message of safety while looking out for the well-being of your guests and maintaining customer flow. Retractable belts can temporarily block an area – everyone knows what those yellow and black-striped belts mean – or offer other instructions. At Lavi, we offer retractable belts that can be printed with standard or custom messages that clearly delineate new foot traffic patterns or facilitate customer flow in a facility or parking lot.

6. Use digital signage

An innovative way to enhance wayfinding and promote customer flow is through digital signage. Media delivered through digital signage can be used to display open and closed registers, estimated wait times, status of arrivals or departures, and other customer flow-related details.

7. Place signage on swing gates

Nothing puts a dent in customer flow quite like people who stop in their tracks trying to determine where they’re permitted to go and where they’re not. Swinging gates could be an entrance, an exit, or a measure to keep people out – but patrons won’t know for sure unless you tell them one way or the other. Add signage to swinging gates to make it clear that areas which look like they’re off limits are indeed blocked to the public. Even signage noting that a gate swings in or out will help people move at an even pace rather than backing up and bumping into others as they figure out a gate’s mechanics.

8. Create signage for the first-timer

Though customer flow may seem clear to you, or even to regular visitors, don’t neglect the first-time customer. Not every customer is familiar with where to go or what to do when they arrive at your venue or attempt to navigate its hallways, aisles, or queues. Simple instructions such as, “Enter Here,” can make the difference between smooth customer flow and frustrating bottlenecks.

9. Make signage quick to deploy

Unpredictability is a reality in any facility. One of the best ways to keep customer flow intact is to prepare for the “expected-unexpecteds.” Be ready to quickly deploy emergency signage to point people in a new direction or belted stanchions printed with emergency messages alerting and guiding customers through a change in the norm.

10. Be bold and be clear

Need to truly get a message across? Double-sided, colorful post banners give you the ability to direct customer flow with dynamic attention-getting banners. However, don’t sacrifice clarity in the name of creativity. Certainly display can’t-miss banners, but keep the clever wordage for marketing plans – display signage with instructions that are obvious, succinct, and easy to read.

Smooth customer flow is critical to facility operations. Signage plays an important role in helping to establish, maintain, and redirect traffic to maintain efficiency and satisfaction throughout your facility. Contact a Lavi public guidance and crowd control management expert for help in developing the ideal signage solutions for your enterprise.

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About
the Author
Perry Kuklin is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Lavi Industries, a leading provider of public guidance and crowd control solutions.