Call me picky, finicky, whatever but the other day I was pumping gas and saw this sign:
Guess what I noticed right away?
I hadn’t even really read what the sign actually said and I couldn’t stop staring at this misspelling. I willed my gas to pump faster so I could go inside and alert the business owner or manager on duty of the error. An error that was posted in large, bold-face font on every single pump at this station!
So, I went inside and said, “I apologize if you were the one who created those signs on the pump, but there is a misspelling.”
Mr. Merchant Manager said, “What sign?”
To which I replied, “The sign about the car wash being out of service. The word ‘temporarily’ is spelt incorrectly.”
Mr. Merchant Manager replied, “Oh, those signs. Well, you know, English is not everyone’s first language.”
I left aghast.
Anything wrong with this? I cared so much about this error that I couldn’t wait to let them know so that they could fix this. You know how long it takes to pump gas? Not a second. It’s takes a long enough amount of time that I bet every single customer that does so, stares at the sign just long enough to see this error glaring back at them.
My perception of the business is that they don’t care (which was reinforced by his remarks).
My perception is that they are lazy (he clearly didn’t want to fix the error even when it was pointed out to him).
My perception is that they are not even thinking about the customer and how they are being perceived.
Yes, it’s clearly human error and we all do it (I made a big whoops the other day as a matter of fact). The misspelling is not what bothered me when I look back at this, it’s the employee’s reaction and shrug-off.
These are your customers! It’s important that they have a good experience and come back. Yes, we are just pumping gas and yes, that’s clearly a commodity and maybe the next guy/gal won’t care as much as I did but they may remember that misspelling and right there, the perception forms in their mind of your business and what is important to you.
Take pride in everything, especially if it’s customer facing. Something as simple as a piece of paper alerting customer’s that the car wash is not working still deserves enough attention to avoid misspellings.
Am I overreacting?