Do Unto Your Customers …

When was the last time you contacted a company with a billing question and received a prompt, accurate response? When was the last time the company’s technical support staff not only solved your problem, but also followed up a few days later to make sure everything was still OK? Never happened, huh? But if it did, imagine how satisfied and loyal a customer you would be.
Such is the power of first-rate customer service.
At the core of quality customer service is communication and follow-up. In this day and age, computerized mailing lists make it easy for your company to regularly interact with its client base via weekly or monthly newsletters, email blasts offering special promotions or announcements of new products or services. Inexpensive “auto-responder” programs now make it so simple to issue order confirmations, welcome new customers, send thank you messages and ensure that every type of inquiry receives at least an initial, preliminary response in a timely manner.
But a computer program cannot do it all. What elevates satisfactory customer service to extraordinary is the measure of human follow-up before, during and after the creative and production process. Reaching out to your customers by phone or personal email on a regular basis – to discuss an upcoming project, verify details and specs on an existing project, or to get feedback on a completed project – demonstrates that their needs are of paramount importance to you. Perhaps even more importantly, it can help anticipate, identify and eliminate potential issues before they become expensive problems and will ensure that deadlines are met and costly delays are avoided.
In the printing and publishing world, as in many industries, it’s a referral business. No matter how good your finished product may be, a dissatisfied, unhappy customer will hurt your reputation and cost you sales. But a customer who personally feels as valued and important to your company as his checkbook will spread the word and get you noticed.
For more information or questions, call 718-820-0688 or visit www.advantages.net.

Fran Biderman-Gross is President of Advantages.

More from Around New York