What’s Your Value to Your Print Customers?
Print customers evaluate printers by something intangible and quite impossible to quantify: the perceived value you provide them.
Defining value is difficult for service providers like commercial printers. I think you need to look beyond your delivered goods, beyond your prices and think long and hard about what customers need.
Part of what customers evaluate is service. In my own case, service is a combination of how fast I deliver the content I’m hired to write, how accessible I am, how quickly I respond to my clients’ requests. It’s also how well I listen to them and how professional I am as a partner.
The quality of my product (or yours) is something totally different: It has to stand on its own, or we’re out of business. Mediocre or lousy print jobs will send customers packing and so will sloppy copy.
The perceived value of my product is what I focus on. So should printers. How would customers describe the unique value of working with you?
Value is, simply put, getting more for your money. This works for all sorts of service providers. If you can figure out what your value is, you can then use it in lots of ways: to develop new business, to communicate to your sales and service teams, to form your unique selling proposition and to market your business.
Here are some questions to help figure out what your company’s unique value is:
- What particular knowledge or expertise do you bring to your customers?
- What special skill or capability do you have that will help customers succeed?
- What tips, tricks or other resources do you share with customers to make their work more efficient?
- What creative ideas do you offer customers that cost you nothing yet make a measurable difference to them?
- Why should customers work with you and not your competitors?
If you haven’t paid attention to the value you bring to customers, they won’t hesitate to shop around.
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com