The one, surefire way that a printer won’t get a job to print is by not following up. Forgive me for touching on something so banal, so obvious, so un-newsworthy for today, but I have to.
I needed to print a hundred decent-sized signs for personal use, and while the quantity was low, the size meant it was worth several hundred dollars at least (more, if I went with the 2C instead of strictly B/W).
At the time, it was most convenient to visit the local big chains. In my neighborhood, this means FedEx Office and Staples Copy&Print. I also sent an email to a local printer I personally know, who specializes in large-format jobs. I never got a reply from him, but in his defense, perhaps he did not get the email. It happens.
The people at FedEx Office couldn’t have been more helpful or more involved with me as we reviewed specs and looked at the file I had on my thumb drive. I got prices and headed one town over, to Staples.
The folks there were also friendly, and I was introduced to a manager in the copy/print section of the store. We spent 20 minutes going over my specs and requirements, even discussing alternative ways to print the signs. She took my contact information and I got her business card. She promised to call on Monday of the following week.
She never did. I called the store the next day and asked for her by name. I was told she’d get the message and return my call.
Again, she never did. Rational or not, this is what went through my mind at this point: She doesn’t want the job. My job’s too small. My business means nothing. I can’t believe she didn’t even call to say, “You’re job’s not a great fit for us” (although I have to believe they could get it done – any printer could). And then, finally, “That’s it. I’m going back to FedEx.”
Over on Twitter, I shared my frustration. (I also share good shopping experiences on social media, just so you know.)
I’ll never know what really happened, or why Staples didn’t want a $300 job from this educated consumer. I doubt I’ll ever go back to them for printing, even though I seem to be at a Staples for office supplies every other week.
For the record, FedEx did a fabulous printing job for me, and their customer service was perfect. Everything about the experience was great.
Had I no other options for this job, I would have hounded that store manager by phone to get my pricing. Fortunately, there are print options aplenty for consumers as well as corporate customers. One bad customer experience can send us packing.
So when a prospect expects a call back – whatever business you’re in – there’s no “maybe” about it. Just call already.
© 2013 Margie Dana. All rights reserved. You’re free to forward this email. However, no part of this column may be reprinted without permission from the author.