We all know how important it is to make customers’ needs a priority. Different interpretations have been attached to this concept over the years and many strategies have been devised to achieve customer satisfaction. Great products are certainly important. As is impeccable customer service.
In today’s competitive business environment, the idea that customers are the center of your print business has evolved into a broader understanding — the need to offer excellent customer experience (CX). Customer experience embraces everything a company does; from advertising to customer service to product offerings. Website usability and virtually every touch point or interaction a client conducts with your company affects how they feel about doing business with you.
Customer experience covers the gamut from excellent pre-press and printing quality to the right product offerings, social media, and comments about your company. Your public face online and on site, how customers interact with your products, and how they interact with your staff is part of CX. How customers check on the progress of their jobs, order products, pay for services, and all other touch points from initial interest to taking delivery all impact the overall customer experience.
A CX Mindset
Customer experience is a simple enough concept, yet not always easy to achieve. You must embrace an organizational culture that makes decisions based on what clients need. Anytime you make a decision, whether it be investing in a new software system, launching a new product, posting on Instagram, hiring a sales team, or tweaking your website, you must consider the effect the decision will have on clients. CX is a commitment to embrace company-wide and it must start at the top.
Printers are proud of their craft. They will go to great lengths to ensure details like color, registration, or folds meet high standards for quality. Other aspects of the customer experience, however, don’t receive the same level of attention. They allow website content to become stale or they miss opportunities for brand awareness and thought leadership offered by newsletters or social networking.
So, what are the hallmarks of a top-notch customer experience? Personalization and convenience rate very high.
A Customer Perspective
People, including your clients, are increasingly stressed from heavy workloads or unrelenting everyday demands. They look for providers that make their lives easier. They crave personalization, not just in product offerings and variable output, but in experience and preferences. The proliferation of digital tools and networks only heightens this demand.
If clients prefer to engage with your e-commerce portal at midnight to check on a job, your organization must deliver that functionality. If they’d rather pick up the phone and talk to a human, that should happen. If they seek to learn about your company on social media, it should be easy. You must manage interactions with your company to match customer expectations.
Your responsibility is to ensure consistency of positive experiences across all platforms and all departments. Your social media accounts, customer service department, website, and your marketing must present the same message and deliver consistently friction-free and pleasant experiences.
Online storefronts can easily deliver convenience. They must be easy-to-use, free of errors, up to date, and always accessible. Self-service options must function smoothly and AI-powered functions like chatbots must provide accurate answers based on a client’s previous interactions with your company.
Printers nation-wide are adding top-notch production equipment, like the iDataPrint™ FS-1200 inkjet system that allows them to integrate high-quality variable data with offset presses and personalize each document. Adding software to connect your internal processing systems that allow you to handle customer relationships in ways that resonate with your clients is just as important to your business.
Embracing Customer Experience
The benefits of embracing the customer experience revolution are substantial. CX will produce a laser-sharp focus on your clients, which makes it much easier to decipher what they need or want. You will identify opportunities to stand out among your competitors and make it easy for customers to do business with you.
Clients with happy experiences are more likely to remain loyal and not bolt to a competitor. And they’re more likely to share feedback with you so you can adapt faster to any changes in the marketplace.
Adopting a CX-focused business model is not a simple transition. But it’s worth taking on. There’s no fool-proof strategy for retaining clients but putting them at the heart of your print shop comes close.
Document Data Solutions provides unrivaled customized data collection, quality control, and printing solutions for print service providers. The DDS technology specifies rules for creating identifiers, guarding against duplicates, and tracking the disposition of documents. This is ideal for integrating direct mail with electronic marketing channels. DDS has over a quarter century of experience and research in the print and mail industry and maintains vital industry partnerships. We engineer each solution for individual applications using pioneering software and hardware technology.