Improve the Print Shop Customer Experience: Calm Unhappy Customers

If your print shop sells business marketing products, you know how much your customers want to improve every element of the customer experience. Today, every company strives to deliver a memorable impression with every aspect of printed, digital, and face-to-face communications. So whether your shop prints marketing collateral, signage, labels, or posters, you should try to deliver an exemplary print shop customer experience.

For example, automating your business and production workflows can help support a consistently professional experience in terms of estimating, proofing, color, product delivery, and invoicing. Cloud-based job data can give every employee who deals with customers round-the-clock access to the specs and status of all jobs in progress.

Even better, a well-executed automation program can free your customer-service representatives to devote more time to solving problems that improve customer relationships. This includes dealing with unhappy and difficult customers. How your employees deal with unhappy customers can be a key part of the print shop customer experience.

Here are a few tips to calm unhappy customers

Make it easy for customers to reach a live person.

Some customers will prefer to check on the status of a job themselves. If problems arise, some may prefer to communicate via email or online chat. But your customers should always know how to quickly reach a customer-service person or account representative by phone. When major problems arise, most customers want personalized, human communications.

Stay composed during customer frustration.

Remaining composed and maintaining a professional demeanor, even when a customer expresses their frustration, is essential. When a customer vents their concerns or dissatisfaction, it's important not to take their emotions personally. Instead, actively listen to their grievances, acknowledge their feelings, and empathize with their perspective. Responding with patience and understanding can help de-escalate the situation and show that you genuinely care about addressing their concerns. By staying calm and professional, you create a positive customer experience and increase the likelihood of finding a satisfactory resolution to the issue at hand.

Make sure you understand the real problem.

If you aren’t sure you understand exactly what has upset them, ask for clarification in writing. People don’t always communicate clearly when they are upset. Writing forces them to think more rationally about the nature and extent of the problem, Documenting the problem also helps prevent further misunderstandings.  

Act fast to make it right.

Act quickly and decisively to rectify the problem. Encourage your customer-service reps to communicate the proposed solution in a friendly, personable manner. Your customer service rep should sound more like the customer’s ally than adversary.

Be sincere in the apology.

Don’t follow a script or try to make excuses. Use empathetic language that shows that you understand their point of view. Some customers prefer getting an apology in writing, so they can hold you accountable if you don’t follow through. Others will prefer hearing the apology over the phone. Apologizing in person or over the phone is a better way to make sure they know you are sincere.  

Reward the customer for their loyalty.

Check in with the customer after the problem has been resolved. Offer discount vouchers or other perks to encourage them to continue to do business with you. Try to put the bad experience behind you as quickly as possible by providing exceptional service on the next job.

Record communications in CRM to prevent recurring issues.

It's a good practice to keep track of all your customer interactions in your CRM software. This helps prevent recurring issues and ensures a smoother experience for both you and your customers. By logging details of conversations, inquiries, and resolutions, you create a valuable resource that can provide insights into customer preferences, trends, and potential challenges. This way, you can proactively address concerns, personalize future interactions, and work towards building stronger, more enduring customer relationships.

Incentivize your CR team for solving big issues.

Customer-service employees who are on the receiving end of complaint calls can easily get discouraged. Demonstrate that you value their work. Recognize employees who have been exceptionally resourceful and successful in resolving customer complaints.

Is the Customer Unhappy or Difficult?

If a customer continues to complain about issues that aren’t always significant, you may be dealing with a “difficult” customer instead of an unhappy one. Highly critical, nitpicky customers are unlikely to be satisfied no matter how hard you try to please them. Aggressive customers are difficult because they expect their orders to always take priority over those of other customers.

When you automate your print shop business management functions, your employees will be able to see more information about each customer: How often do they buy from your shop? How much do they buy from your shop? What types of complaints have they have they made in the past and how were they resolved? If these customers become so difficult to work with that you can’t earn a profit on their business, maybe it’s time to let them go.

Even if you have the best automation system in place, a few customers will be justifiably unhappy when a few slip-ups do occur. Customers will complain if their order is delivered late or to the wrong address. Problems also arise if the job is printed on the wrong material of with the wrong colors. Some issues may not be your print shop’s fault. Even so, how your team reacts and responds will influence that customer’s experience.

So if you don’t want your print shop to get negative online reviews and comments, automate your print shop business management functions and train everyone on your staff to communicate effectively with your customers.

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