I wish I’d taken some pictures when I had the chance. But I was too embarrassed.
Recently I went to Direct Tire in Watertown to have my snow tires removed and my regular tires put on my MINI Cooper. Since it took less than an hour, I sat in their waiting area until my car was ready. I was on the early side (a 7:30 am appointment). Soon, the dozen or so seats were filled up with other customers.
At some point, I realized how chock-full of printed materials the waiting room was. I was about to shoot some photos with my iPhone for this post, but I chickened out, so let me try and recall the incredible amount of printed things I saw:
- Tons of colorful signs on 3 walls (the 4th was a wall of windows), promoting the various services they offer;
- Certificates of excellence they’ve won;
- Framed newspaper articles about the business;
- A rack of brochures;
- Stacks of daily newspapers for us customers to enjoy (kudos, BTW, for having the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in addition to the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald);
- Printed labels on their coffeemaker;
- Printed packets of coffee, tea, sugar, creamer;
- Signs for the restrooms;
- Printed maps;
- Pads of forms for the service staff to use when customers check in/out;
- Packages of fish food for the occupants of their ginormous fish tank;
- Customer invoices;
- Business cards for each service associate;
- A yellow Post It note attached to my rearview mirror with a big QR code, inviting me to rate their service.
- Another bright note hanging in the car with a suggestion to have the lug nuts rechecked after the car’s been driven for 50 – 100 miles.
Then I tried to imagine Photoshopping all of this printed stuff out of the picture. What I saw in my mind’s eye was a shell of a room with furniture in it, some office equipment, lots of people, and zero indication of what goes on there. It was barren.
Every bit of the printed materials had a function: a sales or service purpose, items for customer comfort (like drinking coffee and reading), or something that was transactional or educational.
- The signs on the walls outlining the services. Sitting there for about an hour means you’re a captive audience – so why not remind us of all you can do for us?
- That Post It note with a QR code. I give them thumbs up for that. Really smart.
BTW, I want to point out that how fantastic their customer service is – even at 7:30 am. Jonathan, who helped me, was friendly, professional, courteous, and just a delight to speak with.
So I tip my hat to Direct Tire in Watertown, MA. They treat customers so right – and they’re a perfect example of the value of print. Think about it: they used every opportunity to connect with their customers with something or other that was printed. They killed me with kindness….and with content.
© 2014 Margie Dana. All rights reserved.