Lesson 16: Bridging the Online and Offline World – Part 3

Part 3 – Redesigning materials and training staff

Now that you understand the value of messaging customers in-store, you need to get the store owner’s cooperation in changing customer-facing materials. This will require some design work, some thinking about materials placement, and, of course, sourcing and printing new materials.

Designing materials

Some businesses already have a designer they work with, but most just do things on their own. So, they will need your help with graphics and messaging. Getting the graphic assets is not difficult at all. Most sites will have high resolution versions of their logos available. If you can’t find them on the site itself, you can always use Google Image search.

When possible, do a site visit to the store before you begin working on the materials. Determine where you’d like to put materials and which existing materials you’d like to keep or change. If you’re working remotely, get the owner to send photos and copies of existing materials. Don’t forget to ask for measurements so you work with the right sizes. You need to first agree with the owner on what materials you’ll put up and change. You may meet some resistance here, so be sensitive to their needs and ideas.

Since it’s hard to know ahead of time what will work, it’s advisable to start with low cost, low effort ideas. See what’s working, and go from there. Here are the steps we recommend:

1. Messaging on Receipts and Invoices

Most systems already have this capability. If the owner doesn’t know how to add messages to the bottom of receipts, their software provider will. Contact their support or account manager to set it up. Make sure to find out the character limit on the receipt text, so you plan your messaging accordingly.

Example receipt text:
How can we serve you better? Use OwnerListens.com to send us your feedback.Private, anonymous and safeWe promise to respond asap.


2. Take-Away Materials

Business card size materials are usually enough, and they are inexpensive. The downside is that they must be replenished, but the upside is that customers take them home. Customers can use them if they become unsatisfied after their visit (e.g. the product doesn’t work or their order is wrong). Even if it’s thrown out later, a card still causes customers to pause for a split second and remember the business. Marketing is all about continuous reminders, so we don’t be surprised if this is good for business in general.


3. Front door sticker

Most services will provide a nice door sticker, some even for free. You can also buy them from third party providers. You want to make sure there aren’t too many cluttering up the door, so better if you get stickers that are similar size and shape and place them in a nice row or column rather than just a random hodgepodge of stickers.


4. Bathroom stickers

Bathrooms are the most underutilized marketing space in most stores. While customers are there they don’t have much to do. Hanging a sign up at eye level could get their attention.


Photo Credit: jonas_k via Compfight cc

5. Waiting Areas

On the counter, host or concierge desk, elevators, waiting area, etc. Wherever customers might be hanging around waiting for service with nothing to do can be used as a great place to reach them for feedback.


6. Customer Materials

On materials customers are likely to look at: bill folders, brochures, hangers (for a dry cleaner), floor mats (for mechanics) etc.


A good bill folder insert might say:

Did you have a great time? Let us know how we can improve by messaging us with OwnerListens

If you enjoyed yourself and want to tell a friend, why not tell the world? Post on Yelp, Facebook or Twitter

Using QR codes

QR codes are picture-like codes that consumers can scan, which will direct to a specific URL. They can be added to any posted material you create. QR codes have caught on in Asia and some parts of Europe, but are not mainstream in the US yet. In fact, they seem to confuse most users. If you plan to use them, run a test first to make sure your users actually understand them.


This part of the social media manager’s job might be the most challenging. Not because it is intellectually or physically difficult, but because it requires the most effort and cooperation from the business owner. Business owners are extremely busy, stressed out and frequently stretched financially. It’s your job to convince them a redesign of materials, a reprinting and reordering of them are a necessary and worthwhile investment.

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