When it comes to customer service, printing businesses need to be as good at it as they are at printing. So what simple steps can you take to boost the customer service standards of your print company? Here’s the Soyang guide.
Why Does Customer Service in Printing Matter?
You run a print business. You are, by any objective measure, great at what you do. In terms of the materials you use, the quality you produce and the prices you offer, you’re more than a match for all your competitors.
So how come that technical capability isn’t reflected in your online reviews? In the referrals you receive? Or in your order book?
The simple truth is that price and quality are two sides of a triangle that is completed by a third side: customer service.
Printing businesses will always aim to deliver great customer service, of course, but sometimes it’s easy to miss the simple things that can make a big difference to customers. In this post, we’ll explore seven simple service steps that could help ensure you are always your customers’ first choice.
Customer Service Printing Checklist
1. Answer queries in person
We’re all growing increasingly frustrated with automated responses and endless phone menus when we contact the businesses we rely on. That’s not to say there isn’t a role for automation – it may be essential for you to field some calls or emails via your CRM system or chatbot to free up time to get your print work completed.
But we all value human responses from real, live human beings. If you rely heavily on automation to field customer enquiries, consider a) reviewing how you automate (see 5 below) and b) scaling back on the level of automation and responding to more queries in person. You may find that simply answering the phone in person can be enough to put a customer in a positive frame of mind.
2. Say yes more
Not everything is possible. Not everything is possible right now. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to respond to a query with a flat ‘no’. Customer service in printing is improved when you find a way to reframe a ‘no’ in a more positive way, such as:
- “I couldn’t fit that job in today but I could sort it first thing tomorrow, if that’s ok?”
- “We don’t have that window film in stock, but if I order it now I could have it to you by the end of the week?”
- “If we switch Material A to Material B we could meet your budget – how’s that?”
If your first reaction to a challenging customer query is to think ‘no’, take a minute to consider how you could make it a yes.
3. Fix problems fast
Problems often become problems because the opportunity wasn’t taken to nip them in the bud. That’s understandable – it often feels easier in the short term to sweep difficult matters under the carpet and hope they’ll go away.
Of course, life doesn’t really work like that. By facing up to customer service print challenges straight away, you reduce the risk of complaints and increase your chances of ensuring small issues don’t become bigger problems.
4. Be smart with your CRM
When you’re a regular customer, it’s frustrating to feel as though every piece of communication sees you starting from scratch, as though you are a complete stranger.
If you use a CRM system as part of your customer service printing toolkit, take advantage of its facility to log previous conversations, so it’s easier for communications with customers to pick up where they left off.
5. Tailor automated messages
Automated messages (‘thanks for your message – we’ll get back to you in the next 24 hrs’ etc) are convenient for your print business, but they can feel cold and impersonal. When you’re aiming to lead in printing customer service, that’s probably not the impression you want to give.
Your CRM system will, however, give you the option to tailor your messages any way you see fit. That could mean making the messages a little friendlier. But it could also involve personalising and refreshing your messaging, so it feels less robotic.
Try something like this to help prevent your customers from getting frustrated by an automated response:
“Hi NAME. Thanks for your message. Look, I know we all hate auto responders but I’m sending this just so you know we’ve got your message. I’ll be in touch by the end of the day.”
6. Take responsibility when things go wrong
Things don’t always go according to plan. It’s an inevitable, if (hopefully) only occasional event. What matters to your customers is how you respond. In fact, a great response to a problem can enhance your print business’ reputation for customer service. When things go wrong, do the following:
- Own up – don’t wait for the customer to find the problem, admit it upfront
- Apologise (and mean it)
- Explain how you’ll put things right
- Give a timescale for putting things right
We can’t guarantee your customer won’t still be frustrated, but you’ll limit that frustration and you’ll leave them in no doubt that you handled the matter as positively and effectively as you could, protecting your relationship for the future.
7. Say thank you
‘Thank you’ goes a long way. Showing your appreciation for a customer giving you their business matters because it demonstrates that you don’t take them for granted.
You might want to reward their loyalty in some way – with a gift or discount – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But a simple thank you can be just as effective, and it has the added bonus of being free.
Talk to Soyang
Soyang products, prices and next-day delivery can help build the reputation for customer service of your printing business. Talk to us now