Discover business-enhancing and productivity-improving best practices for building a better in-plant print shop. In this first article of a series, learn the 5 Tips for Better Customer and Staff Communications.
The bane of many customer-centric service organizations is a lack of communication. Don’t leave communication to chance – use automation at your in-plant to insure it happens. Empower customers, management and production team members by effectively communicating during all of the steps in the process – in real time, as needed, and after the fact. Communicating assures customers and enables the production team to understand, plan – and adjust, if needed – for upcoming jobs.
Below are five valuable tips for providing better communications for customers and your staff. Want additional in-plant tips and insights to build a better in-plant today? Sign up for our Quarterly Tips Newsletter.
5 Tips for Providing Better Communications for Customers and Your Staff:
1. Communicate at the "Right" Points
Communication is an art and a skill. Design communication into your workflow with each audience in mind. Customers, management, production team members, creative departments, ordering agents, marketing and accounting all need different information at different times. Automate process steps to answer the question at each major decision point, "Who else needs to know?".
2. Consider Layout and the Communication Channel
Be quick and informative. Communicate via the channel your recipient is attuned to, such as email or phone, and be quick and informative. Your audiences are bombarded with incoming information, and somewhere in that mix is information you need to get your job done. Design to be brief, informative and complete.
3. Offer the Ability to Access "Right Now" Information
The boss needs quick access to current status, i.e., if an order has progressed from production to post production. Online status for your customers provides peace of mind and conveys customer centricity. Similarly, real time statuses enable production staff to see what work is in their queue, what is coming and what they have accomplished, providing a sense of order, flow and empowerment.
4. Give a Little Extra Value
Be trans-promotional. Choose systems that allow you to thank your customer or note an upcoming holiday. Integrate a special offer on your invoices and order completion acknowledgements. Include special notes on shipping labels. These communications create value.
News of upcoming shop changes, milestone celebrations (such as new staff members) offers a personal connection with customers and team members. Build these communications into landing pages, emails and newsletters. Invoices, emails, phone calls, shop banners and shipping notes are all important. Keep them timely and personal.
Remember: Use automation so you can keep that most important form of communication – a smile on your face.
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