Bad LSM: Don’t Confuse Your Customers [Example]

 In Good-Bad LSM

Mixed messages can cause a lot of problems in  life, both personally and professionally. If your friend says she wants to spend more quality time with you, but always ends up canceling plans – that’s a mixed message. Likewise, if you tell your customer you value their business, but don’t return their calls or emails when they need something – you’re the one sending mixed messages.

The example below is the perfect (and somewhat amusing) example of sending mixed messages to customers:



Is this barber shop open or closed? Also, why are there so many signs? Even if this barbershop is the best in town, you would’t know it based on this window “display.” Here’s why:

Lack of Attention to Detail

The competing open/closed signs signify a lack of attention to detail – not what you want from a barber! Do they know they have two signs and just don’t care? Did they forget to take the closed sign down that morning? Why not just use one sign and flip it as you open and close? So many questions.

Poor Upkeep

The window frames on this store front were painted (and repainted) sloppily – you can see black paint on the glass and a thick build-up from too many layers. Also, the red lettering in the upper right hand corner has got to go! If the owners walk buy the storefront every day and think it looks ok, how do you think the inside of the shop looks? Also, do you think they are properly maintaining all of their barbershop equipment?

Unwelcoming Entrance

With the window frames, signage, bars and blinds – I have to ask myself, do they want me to see inside the barbershop at all? In the same way an overgrown yard or a shuttered house dissuades people from knocking on the door, all of this clutter makes it unlikely a new customer will want to give this barber a try.


Mixed messages come in several forms. Here are the most common ones to avoid when it comes to your customers (and employees)!

  1. When what you say today conflicts with what you said previously. (“But, you said last week this scarf would be included in the sale…”)
  2. When what you are doing today conflicts with what you did previously. (For example, not offering to help your customer carry a heavy box to their car, like you always do.)
  3. When what you say conflicts with what you do. (Say “I’ll be right back with that side of ketchup,” and then don’t return until your customers are done eating.)
  4. When what you say conflicts with your body language. (Say “How can I help you?” with your arms crossed and a bored look on your face).


What mixed messages have you sent or received?

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