As I write, I have been on hold with Adobe for 29 minutes…I had a very simple, simple question which I needed answered. In order to get that answer I had to provide my name, software serial number, email address, version of Acrobat X, version of the problem software (Firefox 5). I also had to previously wade through a menu that did everything it possibly could to discourage me from talking to a live human being. When I finally did reach a “warm body”, the usual occurred: first, the impression that I am in a boiler room in Calcutta; then interrogate me for 5 minutes to verify my identity; ask me to define the problem; rifle through papers so they can find a canned script to fire back at me; put me on hold to discuss the problem with their “service team” (code for they are clueless how to fix the problem). Then, after returning to my call, ask me a few of the same questions I already answered. Bottom line: there is no fix for the problem yet. (Firefox 5 does not allow you to create a pdf from within the browser, as it did before with Acrobat X….). He could have simply told me that in the first 60 seconds after I identified the problem, if he was knowledgeable.
In commercial printing, if you “jerk people around” like that, you are out of business eventually. Why? Because I can hang up the phone and call another printer for a price or schedule or design help. Customer Service is very important for survival in this age of printing. In some cases, it is the only thing that separates you from your competition.
What about quality? Everyone prints well these days…
What about service? Deliver jobs in 3-10 days or your shop will quickly be empty.
Price? This industry is so cheap already I am amazed at pricing levels. With technology, prices have plummeted. A job that would have cost $10,000 in 1980 will now cost $3,000. Name me another industry where you charge 70% less for your product and you still survive (maybe electronics?).
Treat your customers well, and they will come back…and your customer service can be the difference maker, and possibly the only thing that separates you from your competitors.