Print Estimating and Order Management … Simplified

A Guide to help Print Companies and Sign Shops

How Commercial Printing Firms Can Deliver a Better Customer Experience
Commercial Printing Firms-1

Written by Ordant on April 18, 2017

Many buyers of commercial printing services are striving to deliver a better customer experience by coordinating and integrating many different forms of communications. The materials your firm prints are likely to be part of a much bigger effort that also includes mobile and online marketing, digital signage, social media, interactive media, packaging, videos, and live events.

Together, all of these interactions (“touchpoints”) affect how a customer feels about a company and its offerings

So what type of experience do you provide your customers? Is it stronger in some areas than others? If your commercial printing business doesn’t provide a consistently positive experience, you may be losing opportunities to win and keep customers.

Consider these touchpoints when evaluating the type of customer experience your commercial printing firm delivers.

Website. Is it visually appealing? Easy-to-navigate? Does it include tips for people who may be buying printing services for the first time? Does it reveal elements of your brand’s personality?

Web-to-print Portal. Does it look fresh and modern? Or does it look outdated? Is it easy to use without special training or multiple calls to your customer service team?

Estimates. Are they delivered quickly in a clear and professional format? Does the client have to wait more than 24 hours for quotes for typical jobs?

Job Submission and Proof Approval Process. Do new clients understand how work should be submitted? Does your customer service team answer questions promptly and clearly? Do your clients understand how the proof approval process works at your company? Or are there instances of miscommunications and delays?

Educational Outreach. If your firm helping correct common misperceptions about printing? The commercial printing business is in the midst of a massive transformation. Many people in your community may not know everything that is now possible with the types of digital equipment and materials your company uses. Does your company hold educational events for local designers, agencies, start-up companies, and new print buyers? Do you have a showroom for some of your most creative applications?

Community involvement. Are employees from your company active in charity events and civic organizations? Is your company known for good deeds in the community?

Sales Team. Are your salespeople regarded as good listeners? Are they knowledgeable about the vertical markets your company serves? Are they perceived as consultants and problem solvers?

Production Team. Do you have some creative technologists on your staff? Can they help clients solve technical challenges or suggest creative workarounds to problems that arise? Can they devise creative applications for new printing equipment and materials?

Customer Service. Do you make it easy for clients to keep track of the status of jobs in progress? Are they alerted in advance to issues that might cause delays in delivery?

Shipping. Do your customers receive their shipments on time and in good condition? Are the boxes branded with your company’s logo and website? Do you include instructions on how to report damaged shipments?

Invoicing. Are your invoices complete and easy to read? Do they look professional? Are they sent to the right individual without any typos in the name and address?

Social Media Presence. Do the employees handling your social media accounts reflect your company’s brand personality? Do they offer helpful information and share posts that will interest your customers? Do they monitor sites for any posts that indicate your customers have had a bad experience with your firm?

Trade show presence. Do the people in your trade show booth make a positive impression? Are they friendly and engaging? Or do they seem pushy or bored? Do the graphics in your trade-show booth reflect the type and quality of work your printing company can perform?

The consistency of how your company presents itself conveys a lot about the competency and culture of your commercial printing business. Even the most dazzling website and direct-mail pieces can’t help erase negative impressions clients get from other points of contact.

if clients experience difficulties with estimates, online orders, proof approval, invoicing, or shipping, they will remember them. Even worse, they may give your company some negative reviews — either on social media or when colleagues ask them to recommend a commercial printing firm.

At Ordant, our cloud-based print estimating and order management system can help you make an excellent impression at many key points in the customer experience. Our system has tools for managing details about customer preferences, delivering fast and accurate estimates, approving proofs, and tracking the status of jobs in progress. The system also supports accurate shipping and invoicing and can be expanded with web-to-print portals for easy, online ordering.

When your staff doesn’t have to spend a lot of time answering basic questions about pricing or job status, they can focus on other important interactions, such as educational outreach, social media engagement, technical problem-solving, and community involvement,

To see how Ordant can help your commercial printing firm improve key elements of the customer experience, visit www.ordant.com

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