Make your customer’s final impression your best impression.
After you complete the printing and decoration process, you have to finish strong. You’ve worked hard to successfully produce your product, so you need to create a system for follow-through during post-production. Post-production serves a few powerful purposes. It assures that your customer receives exactly what they ordered, and it guarantees they get their order in a timely fashion. The most compelling reason for a strong post-production process? It creates very satisfied customers that return over and over to do business with you. They’ll even refer your business to their network.
Your post-production process must ensure that your production staff has completed the job and decorated the goods according to your shop’s standards. But most importantly, you must meet your customer’s requirements. These final steps are the quality control aspect of the manufacturing process. Include your quality control checklist with every single work order for every job.
Here’s an example of a quality control checklist:
- Every print is correctly applied.
- Correct garment side
- Correct colors
- Correct print locations
- Any erroneous ink spots are removed with a spot remover tool.
- All items are accounted for and exactly match the work order.
- For smaller shops that can’t add extra employees, have your printers complete this step. It holds printers accountable for the accuracy of their work.
- Ensure all shipping details are clear an accurate. Your shop might ship jobs or allow for customer pick up at a retail location. Customer due dates are sensitive, so tailor your post-production to your customers’ schedules and needs.
Once you’ve printed a perfect job, have your staff carefully package and fold your items properly. Do not use boxes that are too large. Use the least amount of packaging necessary.
Here’s a quick and actionable guide to quality control and packaging:
- Make sure that garment sizes are stacked together and boxed for the customer in a way that will make unboxing easy. If your shop counts items in front of your customer before pick up, find a way to count the garments quickly when the customer arrives.
- Always label your boxes. If your shop does not have custom boxes printed, consider printing packing stickers for simple labeling.
- Create a portion on your box that shows the total box count (ex: 1 of 5). Label your boxes by size and job name so that all your boxes are accounted for during shipping and pick-up.
- Initial each box. It holds you accountable and your customers can see that you took extra precautions to double-check the order.
- Print out packing slips and apply them to a box using packing list envelopes.
You’re almost there! Time to finish the job. Print your shipping labels. A solution like EasyPost, that prints professional and cost-effective labels, is valuable when you’re shipping lots of items. Follow through at the end of the job by communicating with the customer multiple ways once you have printed your shipping labels and their items are ready for pick up. An email is a decent preliminary step, but a personal phone call adds an extra layer of customer satisfaction. Call to let the customer know their newly printed custom goods are ready. After you have called them, send a follow-up email with tracking info, as well as the receipt. If applicable, send your invoice as well. Be sure to clearly outline your payment terms so your customer is not surprised with your requirements.
Every shop will be slightly different. The key here? Write out a plan and implement it. Then, continue to perfect it over time based on how your business responds. While most owners might think post-production ends once the goods are out the door, you can take several measures after a job is finished to create a loyal customer. After the job goes well, ask them to leave you a review on Google, Yelp, Facebook and your social media pages. Send a follow up after their event to see how the shirts turned out – and always continue selling. Let them know about their next order way before they know they need it – and show them how simple you will make the entire process for them.
Screen printing is a multi-billion dollar industry with customers from every part of the world. Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs discover their passion for screen printing – and they want to claim their cut of the billions and billions of dollars spent on custom printed apparel.
But the majority of new screen printing shops fail before they reach the 5-year mark. They fail because of poor business planning, dull branding, and a lack of ability to scale.
Your shop can be different.
This is an excerpt from our book, The PrintHustlers Guide To: Growing a Successful Screen Printing Business. Written by Printavo’s dynamic founder Bruce Ackerman, Campus Ink’s enterprising Steven Farag, and Adam Cook. The PrintHustlers Guide To: Growing a Successful Screen Printing Business is the next generation’s guide for building your own lucrative print shop.
You can purchase a physical copy of the book on Amazon.
Previous chapter: Chapter 15: Pre-Production
Next chapter: Chapter 17: Contract Printing Coming soon!