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All of us have basic human needs. And, similarly, all of your customers have basic needs that must be met in order to create and sustain a lasting business partnership.

So far in this email series, we’ve talked through three out of the five print buyer needs you can’t afford to ignore: Service, Price, and Quality.

While each of those needs is powerful, you won’t make it anywhere on your journey without this next one: Action.

“Action is the foundational key to all success,” as Pablo Picasso said. Or, as the late Jack Welch says, “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”

But what exactly does it mean when a print buyer has a need for action, and how can your printing company consistently meet that need? Take a look…

Why Your Print Buyers Need Action

There’s no greater turn off to a customer than a passive business, or worse, a passive employee.

Think about it. How frustrating is it to visit a business or be waited on by a customer service rep that has no urgency for meeting your need.? These companies act entirely indifferent to your need or to getting your pain point solved. Rather than viewing you, their buyer, as the purpose of their work, they look on you as an interruption.

Yeah, not good.

The need for action comes from the most basic of human needs. Buyers want to be more to a business than numbers added to a bottom line. They want to be seen and treated as human beings. They want to know that they are important enough that if and when they ever have a need, someone is ready and willing to help them.

Here are a few ways you can address your print buyers’ need for action.

Make the Next Step Yours

One of the easiest ways to take action on behalf of your buyers is to try and limit leaving the next step with your print buyer.

Here’s an email example to help you wrap your brain around this. Let’s say you’re out of the office on vacation. Instead of sending out the typical auto-responder email, leaving the next step with your print buyer, consider a human auto-responder to watch your email and follow up on your behalf. By doing this, you eliminate saying to your print buyer, “Sorry! You need to do more … it’s your turn again!”, and instead have your human auto-responder respond on your behalf or direct the email to the person best suited to handle the email.

In either case, it’s not your buyer who sent the email taking the next action; it’s you!

This is a simple example to train your brain to ask yourself, “How do we make this easier for our print buyer by taking the next action?’

Action Can Sometimes Mean Control

For a buyer, their need for action can sometimes be met by letting them feel that they contributed to the process.

For example, while a print buyer may come to you looking for a print marketing campaign that will excel their business (and genuinely wants your help and expertise), they don’t want you to be the hero of the story.

They want to be the hero. They want you to play the role of guide.

Allow your print buyers the ability to contribute, to make a difference, and be part of something bigger by giving them some control over the outcome of the final product.

This might mean offering them the ability to design the piece themselves using a free, online design tool on your website. Or, selecting specific customization options available on your order form. Even things as simple payment and shipping options can meet your buyers’ need for action.

Create a Fool-Proof Action Plan

When a print buyer has a question or if a problem arises, what actions are you taking to make it easy for them to express that need and get it taken care of quickly?

Companies handle this in different ways but consider things such as a website chat feature, an after-hours emergency contact line, or a product-satisfaction guarantee. Remember that your print buyers will often equate action with your response time, so ensure you have a way to execute a workflow efficiently and manage your customer relationships effectively.

The old adage is true that actions speak louder than words, and it’s even more true when problems arise.

Is your print business ready for action?

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