At least one does, and I know him. He’s a super experienced, seriously brainy operations manager at a major publishing organization, and although he’s been toiling away in publishing for a few decades, in charge of manufacturing, he did cut his teeth in a few printing companies before that. So he knows printing from both sides.
When he emailed me, suggesting I give printers a bit of a nudge to survey their customers, I thought he was fooling. But no. He means it.
And although it feels like we’re getting surveyed to death these days from every business (Starbucks, auto mechanics, hotels and restaurants all come to mind), he casts his vote for printers to ask their customers for more feedback.
I took that as a request to bug my readers who are printers to consider what this print customer’s saying. He’s ready, willing and able to provide feedback. All you have to do is ask.
Oftentimes, if you don’t ask customers direct and specific questions about your relationship with them, you’ll never know if there are problems brewing. Wouldn’t you rather know if a customer has one foot out the door so you can address the situation?
I’ve done surveys for printers and know a thing or two about them.I think printers should survey customers every few years. Here’s my advice:
- Know why you’re doing it and what you’ll do with the information you collect before you start.
- Involve your sales and service reps as you develop the survey questions.
- Do it online. I use Surveymonkey, but there are many tools available.
- Keep your survey fairly short. It’s important to respect customers’ time.
- Incentivize people to take your survey with some potential reward or prize.
- Let your customers know in advance that you’ll be sending a survey.
- Carefully decide which questions are mandatory vs. optional.
- Don’t waste a question. Be exceedingly mindful of what you’re asking.
- Leave plenty of room on most questions for free text so responders have the space to express themselves and don’t get “hemmed in” by the structure of the survey.
- Always ask people to share in their own words a question you should have asked but didn’t. This will inform you for future surveys.
- Once the survey’s done and you’ve analyzed the results, share what you can with your employees and customers. Customers don’t expect to hear every detail, but give them an overview of what you learned – and thank them again for participating.
If you do it right, you’ll be amazed at what you learn. The results you collect will paint an interesting picture of your service, reputation, and overall image.
And there’s this: printers who survey customers end up with testimonials they can use in many ways. Surveying your print customers is worth the effort.
Thanks, G., for the nudge to write today’s post.
© 2015 Margie Dana