Providing excellent customer service will always be a top reason why clients stay with their print service provider. We’ve talked to hundreds of printers who are proud of the quality of their service; with the strength of the relationships they make with their purchasers often leading to a healthy stream of referrals, and a confidence in their overall retention rate.
I’ve also talked to printers who were proud of their “personal service”, boasting about how their clients could always call them if they needed any little thing. It begs the question: How do you define “personal service”? Do you think that you are keeping your clients because of it? What if you are losing your clients because of it? Do you think your clients really enjoy having to call you every time they require a copy of an invoice, template, proof, file upload instructions?
The truth is that the clients who have the time to enjoy this kind of service are very rarely large, valuable corporate clients. The kind of clientele that make up the majority of a print service provider's revenue simply don’t have time to waste.
Now nobody is going to advocate that you stop answering your phone, and you should still give your bigger clients a way to call you easily, but setting up your web to print so your customers can easily do these little things at their leisure is going to make the conversations you do have with them far more meaningful. When your clients know they can access their proofs, order status, and order history on any device, they are going to call you when they have something more substantial to discuss.
If your objective is to improve customer service as a print service provider, then make sure that clients can access accurate information about their orders and act on it whenever suits them. The best way to do this is to process your orders in your web to print system. That way your clients will not only be able to log in to their accounts and reorder easily, but they will also be receiving automatic notifications on their order status, and even shipping notifications with tracking numbers.
A lot of the time you spend on the phone with a client when they’re ordering can be regarding quotes and estimates. Giving a client access to real time pricing will allow them to quickly check the price for any standard products, and even confirm shipping rates.
A good web to print system will allow you to easily customize products to match the specific pricing you’ve agreed upon with a client, and be flexible enough to account for many custom options while generating easy to read job tickets for your pressman. For jobs that require custom estimation, make sure your web to print gives your clients a portal where they can request a custom quote, download custom estimates in PDF format, and even purchase those custom estimates immediately.
At the heart of a performant web to print system will be custom B2B storefronts for your bigger clients. Giving larger corporate clients a portal within your website, or even their own URL where they can manage their orders 24/7 should be an integral part of how you service these clients. But keep in mind that not all storefronts are created equally. Make sure your storefronts are equipped for the task at hand, that they empower your purchasers, and are an essential tool to how these larger clients manage print for their entire company.
You can often be serving a corporate client who has multiple locations, manages payments centrally, and wants to approve orders made by certain agents. Or you could be dealing with a client where each agent needs per piece personalization on branded certain print collateral and the agents are responsible for their own payment. The largest clients can even require the option for agents to submit support tickets if they require assistance; and they want to be sure that their request is processed and handled in a timely manner, without any messages being missed.
Also consider a scenario where your team works closely with a single contact within a company who is responsible for managing orders placed by multiple coworkers. These coworkers order independently, but on occasion they might require the administrator to make an order on their behalf. A purchaser like this will need the ability to login as any other coworker, from any location whilst still being able to administer the storefront; see who ordered what, how much each employee has paid etc. These kinds of users benefit tremendously from tools that make it easy for them to manage their organizations print purchasing.
Being able to cater to a user like this gives them confidence in your company. Each corporation can have different business processes and your web to print system must be able to accommodate them all. The last thing you want is to be in a position where you can meet the requirements of a large corporate client ,and you lose a contract worth tens or hundreds of thousands because of your inadequate web to print software.
These features and the functionality they provide are never meant to replace the contact you have with your clients; these systems are not intended to replace the human contact that you have with your purchasers, but rather they exist to make dealing with your company more convenient. By making it easier for your clients to manage their print procurement, you make the contact you do have with your clients more meaningful.
With each call you should be discussing new print projects, marketing campaigns and having more substantial conversations with your purchasers. Empower your purchasers, give them the tools to take care of administrative tasks and routine ordering without needing to give you a call.
PressCentric are experts in helping print service providers exceed rapidly changing customer expectations. We’ve helped hundreds of printers make web to print a key part of their customer experience, with storefronts and online ordering solutions for dozens of industries and countless purchasers.
Contact us today to discuss how we can make you more efficient with our web to print tools.