Prior to owning Signarama, I worked in the Telecommunications, Audio/Video, Security and Fire Alarm Industries. What I discovered is every industry has its own language. While the terminology and acronyms make perfect sense to those employed in the discipline, customers are not always aware of what things are called and may often ask for something and then end up with something else because of the terminology.
Recently a potential customer sent an email saying they wanted promotional products. I sent back an email with a link to our promotional swag website. The customer called back and said they were confused as to why I sent them this link. What they wanted was coroplast signs to place in their customers’ front yards promoting their business. The word “promotional” depicted one thing to me and another to them.
Another term “yard signs” creates a series of questions.
Customer : “Do you sell yard signs”
Customer: “How much are they?”
Sales: “Are you looking for the coroplast signs on the metal H stakes or the real estate type signs in the metal frames?”
Customer: “I don’t know”
This will then result in either directing the client to our web site to show the differences from the pictures on our site (click here check out more!) or sending emails showing the different types of yard signs.
Yard signs are also known as coroplast signs, Bootleg signs, Political Signs, Plastic ribbed signs, Bandit Signs, Lawn signs, plastic cardboard signs, screened signs, and probably some more that I don’t even know.
A few weeks ago a customer called for a U channel post. We sold her this…
but when she came in she actually wanted this…
Luckily we had both options available in stock, so this was easily resolved.
Customers opening up a business in a retail center often don’t realize that their lease dictates what type of sign they can have. We will ask the client to send us the section of the lease that talks about signage requirements. They are often completely surprised at the restrictions on type, size and colors that they are allowed to have. Retail centers usually have Channel Letters.
The first question we get when we tell them what they can have is “what is a channel letter”?
Education is a key part of the sign industry. Explaining what the sign is called, what it is made of, how it is fabricated, how long it will take to produce and when it will be installed. Helping the customer to make good decisions on the options available is essential. The last thing we want is a misunderstanding of what the final product will look like.
At Signarama we remove the confusion of Sign Language and help you select the proper sign for your long-term needs and budget. Please call us with any questions you may have about signage. We are here to make your life easier and let you focus on your business.
Personal Saga of Terminology Confusion
Recently, I had to undergo some medical tests. I received in the mail a “kit” to take a sample that was to be mailed back. On the front of the return mail envelope it said “Time Sensitive”. I procrastinated doing this and received 4 kits over a 12 month period (Ok.. so I just ignored the request.)
I finally grabbed one of the kits and did the process. Because it said ‘Time Sensitive’ and because it was freezing out, I decided to just drop the thing off at the medical center. I didn’t want it to get lost or frozen in the Christmas Holiday mail deluge and have to do this AGAIN!
An hour later I got call from the medical center. The woman on the phone told me that the test kit was 9 months old.
I said: “yeah.. so?”
Woman “Well we can’t use it”
Me: “Why? The sample was just taken today”
Woman: “Well it’s time sensitive”
Me: “I know. That’s why I dropped it off”
Woman: “ No the test kit is time sensitive. There is a chemical in it to process the sample. After 2 weeks it doesn’t work”
OK.. does anyone besides medical professionals know this? Terminology and language within an industry can create confusion to outsiders.