And She Quietly Walks Away...How Print Buyers Leave Printers
If you are like most printers, a certain percentage of your customer base at one time or another has simply and mysteriously stopped doing business with you – no explanation given. Sometimes it’s a sharp drop off that makes you sit up and take note. More often the work just slowly dwindles down until it finally dawns on you that the customer is gone. If you are scratching your head over a few accounts that are M.I.A, consider this oddity: Sometimes the closer the relationship you have with a customer, the less likely the print buyer will criticize your company.
In general, print buyers don’t handle confrontation with aplomb. And if they like you personally, it may be harder for them to give you bad news or point out the error in your ways. Print Buyers Online.com conducted a poll with 84 major print buyers that cast some light on this topic. We asked print buyers: “If you decide to stop using a print supplier, how do you end the working relationship?” Fifty percent of respondents said “I am usually direct with them. I tell the supplier that I’m not planning to work with them again and I tell them why.” However, the other 50 percent said “I usually just avoid them and stop sending them projects to quote on.” If these statistics are reflective of your business, that means that half the time you don’t know what your company is doing that is unsatisfactory. You may not know what to fix.
Do you measure customer defection? If so, how? What’s been your experience?