Customer service is a lost art for many lines of work and all-size companies, and it starts with the time the customer walks through the door all the way through production and when the customer comes back in to pick their order up. We forget the value of customer service, along with why it is important to all companies.
It is easier to fix things when you are smaller and create a system that works as you grow. So, that is what my wife and I did. We never focused on being the cheapest and focused on improving all the customer service issues at hand because to fix these issues takes time and manpower, which equals a higher cost to fix some or all of these customer service issues.
Our goal was always to have a quote over the same day and if not, to email the customer to explain what we were working on and when to expect the quote by. Right out the gate, we created our own quote and order forms that we filled out with the customers’ names, what they were ordering, what they needed for artwork, when it would be done by, and it explained at the bottom what we as a company were responsible for. So, every order was a contract between our company and our customer. If we did not do our jobs, they had it in writing what we were to honor. Some may read that and be scared off, but we call it holding ourselves accountable to our customers to do our jobs.
Back when we first started, most companies would not print less than 24-48 pieces of several products, which was fine for certain-sized customers, but many customers needed much less than that and had nowhere to go, so we noticed the gap in the market and looked at it as a huge marketing opportunity to set ourselves up to handle all size orders. This allowed us to have that market all to ourselves with no one competing for it right away or companies would have to restructure to do so, which was costly.
Once an order was approved, we would order everything we needed for the order right away. This helped us to curb the issues if certain products were low on stock. If we ran into stock issues, we would call the customer and explain that the stock was out and give them options to help complete the order still. This helps the customer stay informed and still have a say during the process.
To learn more about customer service, check out: Making Customer Service a Valuable Asset.