Do Printers Respect Their Customers?

Honestly, I believe most printers do. The majority of print reps and print CEOs I’ve known over the past 20 years have been professionals in every sense of the word. And for the most part, they sincerely respect their customers.

But from time to time I come across people on the Internet who are so bitter, so angry (at who knows what), that a seething disrespect for their customers is reflected in everything they say or write. Sometimes it’s blatant.

I bring this up because, thanks to social media, we’re all into sharing these days. We share on Facebook and Twitter. We share in our own blogs. We share when commenting on others’ blogs. We create videos and presentations and share these, too.

This freedom to share can quickly turn into a license to rant. Is nothing sacred? Evidently not. Some people don’t know enough to edit themselves, and without thinking of the Internet’s far-reaching effect, they let loose about business complaints that are really personal gripes.

It’s a content-crazy free-for-all, I tell you, made possible by all manner of new media, and this power sometimes goes to people’s heads. Their true colors are unleashed like the evils in Pandora’s box. Give them a key (or a keyboard) to free their pent-up resentment and whoosh—out comes a string of nastiness for all the world to see. Try taking that back.

I’ll bet you know a few people like this. They don’t give a sweet patootie about being print partners or helping customers solve problems. They bad mouth their competition as well. In general, their heart-on-their-sleeves is more of a chip-on-their-shoulders.

Personal situations aside (who among us hasn’t had to deal with difficult customers), a propensity to disrespect one’s customers should not be made public.

When you have no regard for your customers, they know it. When you badmouth your competition to your customers, they form an opinion of you, and it’s not pretty.

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 or e-mail Margie at
Related Content
  • http://RonFox Ron Fox

    I think part of the rant deals with not understanding the client’s motivation for a specific decision or action. I have issues when a client does something that appears to be adverse to their own best interest and I can’t figure out why. Another area of frustration is when an employee makes a decision in his/her best interest and not the company. That I can understand but seldom like.

  • http://DustinLeFebvre Dustin LeFebvre

    I’ve seen a lot of this behavior, especially in print industry associations. I believe this negativity is a response to the dynamic nature of the industry, and is born out of an inability or lack of willingness to evolve, learn, and grow with it. Needless to say, one should always obey the golden rule.

  • http://MargieDana Margie Dana

    Dustin and Ron,

    Thanks for your posts. I hate to see this sort of negativity online, in any public forum, as it serves no purpose. Customers and prospects can sense this right away if someone’s not careful. I have seen it recently myself and it does the print industry a disservice.

    We have to be extra careful today, when everything ends up on the Web.

  • http://WillGlassman Will Glassman

    Well said, but let’s not forget an important issue that no one wants to talk about – greed, collusion and graft. Unfortunately, even with modern oversight methods in place, payoffs still take place on a regular basis which makes fair trade impossible and business decisions made for the wrong reasons.