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YOU CAN’T PEE FOR FREE and other signs you are dealing with a clueless business

The first sign – they actually discourage prospects from trying their product or experiencing their service.

You can't pee here for free
A classic example is “restrooms are for customers only”. Why would you want to discourage people from coming into your establishment and seeing it, experiencing the atmosphere? Most businesses spend thousands of dollars to get prospects to visit in one form or another. If I owned a restaurant I would have a sign that said “if you’ve got to go, our washrooms are clean and we welcome you to use them, even if you aren’t eating here today”.

The second sign – a company doesn’t stand behind their work. When a customer is dissatisfied, the default policy is to make the customer prove their dissatisfaction instead of just accepting it.


Companies that don’t allow for returns or don’t immediately re-do an order when a client is unhappy are missing the bigger opportunity. Do some people take advantage of return policies, you bet. The majority don’t. Why create policies based on the minority. You should have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and allow for product to be returned if it does not meet your clients expectations. Every dissatisfied client is a potential future customer. More importantly, they are a potential advocate and you only want positive stories shared about working with your company. Any roadblock to resolving an issue creates exponential dissatisfaction. All sales are not final.

The third sign – you don’t take responsibility, you pass blame and throw people under the bus.


I’ve never understood why when I check my coat they can’t take 100% responsibility for my belongings. I mean… I get it, they don’t want people coming back and saying their wallet was in the coat they checked and now it’s gone. But imagine if the sign said “we take 100% responsibility for your belongings, we will guard and protect your coat with our life”. These are the types of pictures and stories that get shared in today’s world of over sharing. Take full responsibility for the entire experience not just parts of it.

The fourth sign – you don’t listen or make it easy to contact a real person

Emails coming from a ‘do not reply’ address should  be considered spam. Companies sending them should be fined by the government. Make it easy to communicate with you by designing delight and love into the experience. If you do not have live chat on your website you are operating in the 90s from a service level. If you are not encouraging customers to reach you with challenges and feedback via Twitter you are showing signs of being clueless about how Gen Y and Millennials want to communicate.
What signs, literal or figurative, are you putting up that discourage people from wanting to do business with you.