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.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
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  • Linda S

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Such simple questions but the answers will give us the power to be the vendor that our customers need! Gee, it was a long week waiting for this post!!

  • Linda S

    Okay – so I’ve got another question? What method do you feel is the best to conduct this survey? Mail, email, phone – – – Should it come from me (sales) or should it come from management?

  • laurieatconcord

    Funny you should post this! I just completed a survey almost exactly like this! great information and a confirmation about what we’re doing is right! Highly recommend it to any business, not just printers.