As shop owners, we find ourselves engulfed in the day-to-day production.
How fast can we print shirts?
How quickly can we burn screens?
What ink looks the best?
Can we register jobs quicker?
How should we use employees strategically in the shop?
All great questions - all are necessary to run a great business. Today let's focus on the customer experience. Have you challenged your status quo recently when it comes to how your customer interacts with your business?
How quickly are emails answered in your shop?
How accessible are phone lines when customer's need to talk?
How easy is it for a customer to approve a quote or proof?
Do customers have to jump through hoops to pay bills?
How quickly can you turn a quote into a finished product for the customer?
You might be quick to answer these questions, based on your experience, and your standard operating procedures. Think twice about them, and challenge the status quo. They are equally as important as your production standards. A great customer experience builds customers loyalty. In this day and age, customer loyalty is becoming more and more important as faster and smarter tools are being made available to your customers.
When a customer leaves your business they should feel compelled to come back in the future. If not, something is wrong.
Human interaction, tone, and real conversation can separate you from your competition and show your customer you care. Avoid sending multiple emails and pick up the phone for a change. Make a connection and let your customer's know you are real. Build rapport, ask about their day, and start fostering a relationship that will lead to repeat orders. The power of verbal communication far exceeds written communication. Use it.
"I'll send you a quote tomorrow" is the fastest way to lose the confidence of your customer. They need to know you are their priority at all times. To do this, make sure you send them a quote as fast as possible, so they feel the urgency you are giving their orders. If you delay the first opportunity to impress them, you are going set yourself back before you have had the chance to win the job.
The more transparent you can make your workflow, the less worried your customer will be. Keep your customers involved and informed. Spend time educating them so they become stronger customers. Let them know your standard operating procedures so they help maintain your quality standards. Remember, you can easily create a paranoid, worrying customer when you keep them in the dark. Take the opposite approach and make them a trusting customer.
Create incentives to help promote a healthy customer experience for your employees. Use a tool like close.io or email meter that can measure and organize customer response time. Challenge them to have a zero inbox each day. Send post job surveys to your customers to test for quality and reward your staff.
Personal deliveries, thank you cards, cookies, and random acts of kindness go the distance and show your customers that you care. Afterall, they control your livelihood. Spend a few minutes a week reaching out to someone new. As an owner, deliver a few packages a week to get yourself out and in front of your customer. People remember these things and they will pay off immensely.
Image source: Examples.com
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