Most print providers get most of their new business from existing customers. With so many commercial printers trying to compete in a price sensitive and commoditized world, customer service is often the only differentiator among competitors. Providing outstanding customer service is a critical necessity.
I recently ran across an old 1922 ad for a large NY Printer, Charles Francis Press in Printer’s Ink Magazine. The title of the advertisement was “Is the Charles Francis Press Too Big?”
The gist of the ad was that this large printing company was easy to do business with. The copy of the ad written by owner, Gus Oakes, emphasized that any customer was welcome to come to the plant and ask any employee what was the status of their job. The promise was that the Charles Francis Press will treat every job and every customer special.
The first sentence of the ad was: Printing after all is a personal service
In those days, right after WW l, Charles Francis Press was competing with a lot of other printers in a recession where there was over capacity. Because of this there was an urgency to keep customers satisfied. In today’s market, printers are not only competing with other printers but are also competing with digital media suppliers.
Customers can easily change printers as well as change media.
Great printing companies have a culture and a business processes that ensures customer loyalty and satisfaction. Every employee must be trained and held accountable by the way they treat their customers and their printing projects. If great customers are disappearing or leaving because of cost, it is time to take a close look on how the company at every level interacts with customers.
If your best customers don’t love you, they will leave you.