In today’s competitive printing industry, customer retention usually comes down to a great customer experience. High quality printing is simply the standard now, not a differentiator, and competing on price is a race to the bottom. Great customer service can be the competitive difference that makes clients want to do business with you and keeps your bottom line growing.
But the definition of great customer service has evolved. Today, the meaning includes a certain degree of self service and 24/7 access—the conveniences that can be found via online portals. Easy to navigate portals with anytime and anywhere access, quick responses, project tracking, proofing, invoicing, inventory tracking, and other services can make your brand stand out with their terrific benefits.
Who isn’t looking for more convenience to make the working day easier? Convenience is a huge attraction for online portals. They let customers place orders or upload files when and where it suits them, look at job progress when they want, check invoices, or perform multiple other tasks. Customers can often interact seamlessly from several devices. It’s efficient customer service on a client’s terms.
The automation features that drive convenience also generate time and money savings for your client. When you automate the repetitive functions of the supplier/client relationship, or you offer easy access to information, you’re making your clients more efficient and more productive.
For a certain cohort, accessing information themselves is one of the hallmarks of excellent client service. They’d rather not pick up the phone and wait on hold to get connected to the right person, who may or may not be available.
They’d much rather go through the FAQ pages to get the answer quickly for themselves or have a quick exchange with a chatbot and save time. Performing tasks for themselves can feel empowering and less frustrating.
Secure Storage of Assets
Tracking marketing assets like business card designs, logos, brochures, and other collateral takes time and energy. Online portals that can securely store brand assets and make it easy to access them deliver not only convenience, but also peace of mind. It makes all subsequent transactions easy and quick and ensures everyone is working from approved material. For further protection, you can accommodate restrictions related to who has access to various assets.
Portals loaded up with helpful information can solidify your relationships with clients. Upload how-to guides, videos, educational pieces, answers for technical issues, or advice on how to be more effective marketers or print buyers. It’s a great opportunity to become the go-to source for essential information and become a trusted consultant.
Personalization is an increasingly important facet of good client experience. Take companies like Amazon as your inspiration and make clients feel like they’re operating in their own space, that you understand and are ready to meet their needs.
Custom portals that are designed to look like client brands, that track inventory and send reminders when quantities are low, that offer discounts on specific products clients purchase, or suggest related products, all make clients feel you understand their business and are there to help.
You can also use portals as potent listening devices so you can keep improving. A space that allows clients to give feedback or report issues easily is valuable for both parties.
Print companies can structure portals to provide as many services and functions as your clients need. The best are convenient, reliable, easy to use, and helpful. They don’t totally replace the face-to- face customer service approach but done well they immeasurably enhance the client journey.
There are many options for building an on-line portal. Gimbel & Associates can easily assess your needs and make the best recommendation to get your portal up and running. Contact us for a free 1/2 hour consultation.