How You Can Be Firmer with Customers
What happens when customers don’t do what you want?
It’s a common problem. You expect them to give you files formatted in the correct way. You expect them to confirm the number of copies that they need. To approve proofs on time. And to tell you any special delivery requirements.
But often this just doesn’t "happen." At the very best you receive information from the customer at the last minute.
But your client still expects you to fulfill your part of the deal
They may have been late. They may have caused you all sorts of problems along the way. They may have taken far too long to approve the proofs. But they still expect you to keep to the original delivery date.
To be fair, the client is not trying to be difficult. They have their own business challenges. And they often don’t have a true understanding of all the processes that you have to go through in order to produce their job.
However, it’s not always the customer’s fault.
Mismanagement of expectations is a major cause of this type of problem
Many people do a great job of selling to the customer. They tell the customer how they great the service is at the printing company. They promise an awful lot to the customer.
But they don’t talk about what is expected of the customer. Naturally, most companies bend over backwards to try and help their clients out. But there comes a point where it’s just not possible to give a customer what they were hoping for.
Here’s one way to lessen this problem
Consider using a service level agreement. This doesn’t have to be a big document. It’s just a simple document that outlines your responsibilities and the customer’s responsibilities.
This means that the customer can’t claim they didn’t know what to do. It also makes it easier for you to tell the customer when they aren’t keeping to their side of the deal.
It’s a great way to manage customer expectations.
PS: If you’d like more ideas on how to engage with today’s buyers, download my free e-book "Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them" right now at http://profitableprintrelationships.com/e-book/ You’ll also receive my regular "Views from the print buyer" bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively.
Many printing companies are frustrated how hard it is to engage buyers in today’s world. That’s where Matthew Parker can help. He is a gamekeeper turned poacher. Parker has bought print for more than 20 years and received over 1,400 print sales pitches. He now uses his buyer’s point of view to give practical advice to printers. He helps them engage with prospects and customers to create profitable relationships.
Download his free e-book, "Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them" and check out his recently launched book, "How To Succeed At Print Sales: Setting targets, planning the right activities and making sure goals are met."