Let’s recap. To breathe new life into your print business, here’s what you do:
- Recognize if you’re in a rut
- Fortify what’s working well
- Stop chasing and start attracting
- Be the expert they’re looking for
You’ve made some serious headway up to this point, and as Forrest Gump would say, since you’ve made it this far, might as well keep going.
Here’s where we’re going this week:
Put greater value on customer service.
Providing excellent customer service is the smoking gun for keeping your print business on the grow. Here’s why…
Why Customer Service Matters
Take a look at these numbers:
- 86% of U.S. adults say they are willing to pay more for better customer service.
- 89% of consumers have switched to a competitor because of a bad customer experience.
- 73% of U.S. adults said friendly customer service made them fall in love with a brand.
The proof is evident. So, why do so many businesses undervalue customer service?
Maybe the real issue is that most businesses value the transactional part of customer service but miss the necessary steps to build a relationship that has a customer continuing to come back for more. In other words, customer service that goes beyond:
- You provide the product
- They give you money
- You give a smile and a thank you
- They smile back
- THE END
“But, wait? Isn’t that excellent customer service?”
Not exactly. Although it’s a start, the problem lies in that any print company can provide a quality product, a smile, and thank you.
–> That means your service has to be better.
Think Long Term
So, how does your customer service outshine the rest?
You change your vision.
Instead of your goal being the completion of one sale, you prioritize fostering loyalty, building relationships, and customer retention.
You begin to think long term and embrace an attitude of commitment.
And, you start to see every transaction, every conversation, and every touch point as one interaction among many in a lifelong customer relationship.
When you start to grab hold of this idea that you need to woo prospects and customers for life, you’ll start looking beyond just the point of sale to actually building a relationship before, during, and after they purchase printing from you.
Here’s what that could look like.
What Excellent Customer Service for Printers Looks Like
Brenda works at a large clothing retailer overseeing the marketing needs for several of the corporation’s branches across the country. She frequently orders clothing tags, signage, business cards for staff members, and direct mail promotions.
Brenda doesn’t have to worry about her print needs in the midst of everything else on her plate because she has a long-standing relationship with her printer, Pete.
Before Brenda even met Printer Pete, Pete began sending a monthly newsletter to Brenda’s store. It had interesting articles in it, print ideas, and each month featured a friendly letter from Pete offering to help with any print needs she might have.
For a few months, Brenda continued to receive Pete’s newsletter and then began to notice Pete on social media as well. His print company would pop up in her news feed with helpful articles and blogs on everything from branding ideas to leadership tips. Printer Pete would also send some of his content through email and as time went on, the familiarity with Pete and his printing company grew.
One day, Brenda needed a brochure job printed and noticed Printer Pete’s coupon for brochures in his newsletter. “Why not?” she thought. “He obviously knows what he’s doing. He has a solid reputation, and I’ve seen the quality of his work through his newsletters and postcards.” Her mind made up, Brenda decided to give his print company a try.
From the ease of designing and ordering her printing online to the friendly follow-up and prompt service, Brenda was impressed. What’s more, Printer Pete even gave her a call to suggest a different paper stock that would make mailing the brochure stand up better in the mail and offered to meet with her in the future to discuss any other printing needs she might have.
A few weeks later, Brenda received an email from Pete asking how the brochure campaign went and confirmed their follow-up appointment for the next day. When they met the next day, Brenda was astounded by the other services Pete offered.
Not only could Brenda create a reorder library on Pete’s website to store all of their frequently ordered items for easy reordering, but they also offered a Private Label Website service that allowed Brenda and other store employees to place orders right from their own store’s website. It was branded to look like Brenda’s site but was actually a super-highway to Printer Pete.
For over ten years now, Brenda has been consistently placing monthly orders for all of their printing orders through their Private Label Website. It creates branding consistency for her and keeps her costs low across all of her franchises, which she loves. And Printer Pete loves it because he has a steady stream of orders coming in and a loyal customer.
Brenda continues to hear from Pete through periodic check-ins and his monthly direct mail campaigns and is thankful she found a company interested in her for the long-term rather than just making a sale.
Now imagine it…
What if all of your customer’s success journeys could be like Brenda’s? When you focus on the long-term of before, during, and after, you’ll be well-positioned to do just that.