Customer flow—how people move in and through an area—can make or break the efficiency, safety, and overall experience people have with a business. There are numerous strategies involved when businesses are creating plans to effectively facilitate customer flow. One of the simplest and most effective is signage.

Why is signage so crucial to the customer flow equation?

Signage creates logic out of potential chaos

When it comes to customer flow, logic is a manager’s best friend. The directional flow of a facility or store should be intuitive enough for customers to navigate to their desired destination without getting frustrated or having their positive experience disrupted.

Signage can make a more logical environment by:

1. Providing clear instructions

wayfinding stanchionCustomer flow is easily interrupted when people have to stop in their tracks to determine which direction they should be headed, if they are even permitted in a given area, or how to work the mechanics of a gate. Clear, concise signage utilizing obvious, succinct, and easy to understand instructions will keep customers moving at an even pace throughout the facility, avoiding the dreaded back-up of people bumping into each other.

Simple post-top signage efficiently maintains customer flow as the signs clearly tell a customer what to do through simple yet effective commands such as “Line Starts Here” and “This Way.” These signs can provide clear entrances to queues, wait points for services, and directional instructions in general.

Signage also works effectively on swing gates, which are commonly used to limit the flow or access to an egress. Signage helps customers determine if the gate is an entrance, an exit, or an area that is off limits.

2. Utilizing iconography

Iconography comprising of universal symbols enhances customer flow by offering a complementary addition to text signage for patrons to easily interpret commands and keep moving forward through the facility. From stop signs to arrows, these symbols can enrich messaging and deliver clear communications.

Large facilities such as stadiums and airports greatly depend on other universal symbols such as those depicting restrooms, luggage pick-up, and public transportation to accommodate visitors across a range of nationalities.

Signage allows you to address first-timers

Facilities and queues should always be designed with first-time customers in mind. Using signage is the easiest way to make wayfinding clear and simple by creating an environment where customers easily know where to go and what to do. The right signage can even generate a feeling of familiarity and comfort for those patrons who have never set foot in the facility before.

Signage provides a sense of organization and direction

Directional and color coded signage helps enforce messages that promote safety and organization throughout a business or venue. A consistent system of colors and commands from entrance to exit helps orient customers giving them a sense of direction from the beginning until the end of their experience.

Combing this signage with a variety of retractable belts and/or barricades will not only secure the well-being and happiness of visitors, but maintain the facility’s ability to navigate these people smoothly on, through and off the premises.

Signage provides entertainment

electronic-queuing-mediaGiving event attendees or retail customers even a minute to be bored could be the difference between repeat visitors and lost revenue. Digital signage adds an entertainment aspect to both waiting and wayfinding for an enhanced overall customer experience. Not only can these digital displays promote customer flow by displaying estimated wait times and alerting to open registers, but waiting patrons can be entertained with short advertisements or marketing videos for the venue’s most recent promotion, service or product.

Signage is easy to use

Every venue or retail store faces some degree of unpredictability. Quick to deploy signage allows event and retail managers to expect the unexpected by being able to put up signs quickly whether to accommodate increased customer flow or to manage an emergency. Timely deployment ensures customer happiness and safety.

Conclusion

All facilitates depend on smooth customer flow for operational success. It has been proven that signage plays an important role in establishing, maintaining and redirecting traffic as needed to maximize efficiency and satisfaction for employees and customers alike.

Whether in a retail store, stadium, amusement park, or parking lot, signage is one of the hardest workers on the customer flow team.