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In business, it’s one thing to say you’ll do something and quite the other to follow-through. Broken promises place a severe strain on a potential relationship with a new client or an existing client, both of whom know they can shop elsewhere. If you go out on a limb and make a promise, you darn well better figure out how to respond to it because it’s all about convenience for our clientele, regardless of the industry.
Oftentimes, our team gets requests (sometimes actual printing emergencies) that seem downright impossible to achieve. When said requests come in, just like first responders, we ask a series of questions before promising ‘full recovery’. Every parameter needs to be calculated – what’s the requested time frame, do we have the required paper or can we get it quickly, can we juggle production schedules, is it within our range of capabilities, etc.
If everything lines up as it should, we’re willing to take the plunge in making promises.
The following are a few ‘emergencies’ to which we’ve responded recently – situations where we were able to fulfill our clients’ requests with a little extra effort. Thanks in advance for indulging us with a little horn-tooting. And thanks to Horst Schulze, author of Excellence Wins, Shep Hyken, author of The Convenience Factor, and countless other customer experience experts for sharing their knowledge and inspiration on how to be the best we can be.
A brand-new client phoned us on a Friday afternoon asking if we could have a project printed in time for an 8 o’clock meeting Monday morning. For those of you unfamiliar with our business hours, we are not open on the weekend. In fact, we close at 1pm every Friday for team meetings, team building events and sometimes to get caught up on projects from the week.
These “first time using Copycat’ folks were in the process of finalizing a proposal for their customer and needed presentation books printed and bound post haste. Everything seemed straightforward enough until they mentioned that their files wouldn’t be ready until sometime Saturday. In order to meet the deadline, two of our team – Jeff & Sue – came in over the weekend to produce the work. First, Jeff printed a proof that he videoed and sent to the client for approval. Once approved, the order was printed and bound in the span of a few hours. Sue then arranged to meet the client Sunday afternoon at a location convenient to them. In completing this project so quickly over the weekend, our new client got to wake up Monday morning with one less worry on their plate. Here’s what they had to say about the transaction:
My company was awarded a large project that required a large batch of printing to be done. Our deadline was moved up by a week and I needed lots of printing done over a weekend for a 8:00AM delivery on a Monday morning. Copycat modified their workflow to make sure that we met our deadline!! They communicated with me all weekend, sending me print examples and helping make decisions on paper, covers, binding etc. Sue and her team went above and beyond to ensure I could deliver the best quality product to my client. I cannot express to them and everyone how impressed I was with their willingness to work within our tight timeline, their constant communication about the project printing status, and above all how nice and easy they were to work with! I’d give them 10 stars if I could! They are the only print shop my company will work with!
Check Plus in meeting the deadline and providing that extra helpful step.
In preparation for the opening of a large & important art exhibit, our local art museum selected us to print several hundred programs. These programs required a paper we rarely keep in stock, so we ordered it well ahead of our production schedule. The next few days were dedicated to making sure the files were prepped and ready to print as soon as the paper arrived. As is periodically the case with things out of our control, the paper did not arrive on schedule. In fact, it shipped as far as Durham and would not arrive in Wilmington in time for us to start printing, meaning our delivery schedule would be severely impacted. To mitigate, we sent one of our team members to Durham on a Friday to retrieve the paper and bring it back.
Late that Friday afternoon, the dynamic small format team of Jill, Jeff & Bernie worked to produce a proof, overcoming some logistic issues with the presses, consulting with our service technician and tweaking the file repeatedly to get the very best quality possible.
Once satisfied, we provided our client with a proof for approval only to discover the designer had inadvertently left out a couple of required files (and this is exactly why proofs are SO mission-critical to the work we do!).
Saturday morning, the small trio came in to process the extra files, create another proof and get approval from our client. For the rest of the weekend, they worked in shifts to make up for the lost production time, because of all the obstacles along the way. As a result of their diligence, we were able to deliver the programs a day ahead of schedule to a very pleased client.
We registered a W against whack-a-mole on this project.
One recent morning, we received a phone call from the planning department of a small town about 30 miles away, asking 1) if we could scan plans & specs, 2) how much would it cost and 3) could we pick them up and deliver upon completion. Our answers were: 1) yes of course we can assist you, 2) no way to know how much without knowing exactly what size, how many, color or b/w, etc without seeing it and 3) sure, if you need us to come to you, then absolutely.
Within an hour, we went to inspect this potential project. Within two hours, we were back in town, emailing an estimate and receiving a deposit & approval to proceed with the order.
The scans – a combination of sizes for a construction project – were completed the next day – a 24-hour turnaround. The documents returned to the planning department two days later (the office was closed for a national holiday on the day of completion). Our contact in the planning office said she had significant trouble finding a business in her immediate area capable and willing to assist with this project. She was exceedingly pleased to learn more about Copycat and our capabilities, with hopes of using us again in the future.
So, why all the bragging about our heroic efforts?
Because we’re proud of being able to respond to printing emergencies with such alacrity and professionalism. We work hard to provide better than satisfactory customer service and better than satisfactory quality printing. If that means we’re inconvenienced, so be it. All three of these jobs had a sensitive time element. As Shep Hyken writes, “When you raise the convenience bar, you create the next level of amazing customer experience.”
Providing the very best customer experience is the topic of many books, the philosophy of many businesses, the goal many of us strive for day in and day out. The key is consistency and always cheerfully putting our best feet forward to be of service to you.
We welcome the opportunity to provide this level of service to you and look forward to writing a success story about you and your business. The next time you need professional, quality printing with exceptional service, please remember we’re ready and waiting, even if it’s a printing emergency. Consider Copycat your printing experts.