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Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

Margie Dana, a former print buyer, is the founder of Print Buyers International (PBI) and its member-based organization, Boston Print Buyers. These professional organizations cater to print customers worldwide through education, an annual buyers conference, Print Buyer Boot Camps, and networking opportunities.

Margie's perhaps best known for her weekly enewsletter, Margie's Print Tips, which she's published weekly since 1999 in an effort to build bridges in the industry. For years, Margie has been a popular speaker at industry events here and abroad. Her clients include print company executives who rely on her to help steer their marketing campaigns and make their online efforts more customer friendly.


5 Questions Printers Should Ask Customers Every Year

My previous blog post—“Make Eye Contact with Print Buyers”—included seven suggestions for making personal, meaningful contact with print customers. The seventh suggestion I made was:

Consider sending every customer a short, five-question “How are we doing?” survey at the beginning of the year.

A reader asked me which five questions I’d ask. Here they are:

1. Do we meet—or exceed—your expectations?
  • Yes, and here’s why:
  • No, and here’s why:

2. Are our sales and service reps doing right by you?
  • Yes, and here’s why:
  • No, and here’s why:

3. Are we a service provider you don’t hesitate to recommend to others?
  • Yes, and here’s why:
  • No, and here’s why:
4. Are you confident you know everything we have to offer you?
  • Yes.
  • Probably not.

5. Is there a product, service or application you need that we could offer?

With these five easy questions, you’ll get at the heart of current customer satisfaction without spending a bundle. Remember, when it comes to customer surveys—even with a short one like this—you must preface your questions with an explanation, including how you plan on using the feedback.

Also, it is absolutely vital that you know what to do with the results and have a process in place to get it done. Otherwise, it’ll all be for naught.

I guarantee that if this is done correctly, you’ll uncover trends—hopefully more positive than negative. If it turns out that you get some negative feedback, deal with it. You should be able to identify specific issues and correct at least some of them immediately. Other improvements may take longer.

Finally, after the results are in and you’ve analyzed and acted upon them, make sure you communicate with your customer base to share the improvements you’ve made. It will impress them that you cared enough to ask AND you heard what they had to say.

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