You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can’t read the label from inside the bottle.” Sometimes it’s hard on the outside, too.
After a cup of coffee on the other side of the town square, we walked back towards his store. Still from across the street, we stopped and faced his big picture window.
We talked about his display, his lighting, the fading and iron-streaked awning above his door. All the things an owner of a business would see.
I fed the parking meter in front of us a quarter so it wouldn’t run out of time. There wasn’t an open space within sight, so I was thankful I didn’t have to move the car. The store owner asked why I hadn’t parked in back. I explained it was my first time here, I didn’t know there was parking in back.
Bending my knees slightly, I asked him what his store hours were. He told me without having to look at the small sign on the door, now hidden behind parked cars. It’s a good thing I was with the owner, otherwise we wouldn’t know. Together, we began looking at things from his customer’s perspective.
While there was some foot traffic, most of the people coming through this part of town are driving by in their car. Someone driving by during a busy morning or afternoon, would not be able to see the hours or know that there was parking behind the store. In front of the store, the parking spaces (if available) were all metered.
Looking through the lens of a potential customer, we found out that “Free Parking in Back” and “Open 10-6 except Sunday” needed to have a much bigger and higher presence in his display window.
Every day, have a look at your store or office through your customer’s lens. Go across the street. Walk down to the corner and turn to look at your front door or window. Note and notice the surroundings, the foot traffic, the signage of your neighbors.
Do your best to read your label from outside of your own bottle. See through the eyes of your customer.
Photo on Flickr by pevelpetros w/ cc