How Print Service Providers can stand out from their competition

Published December 2014

Standing out from the competition in today's competitive market is difficult, you need to have a unique sales propostion. Something that helps your company stand out from the crowd. Something you can proudly say is different about your business. A point that your sales team can use to sell your company to your prospective customers.

How Print Service Providers can stand out from their competition

Maybe you think the only way to win business is to cut your prices and reduce your margins, meaning you are constantly working harder and harder for less return. But today's customer isn't always looking for reduced prices, sometimes what is more important to them is a smooth buying experience and a company that delivers on their expectations. You can provide more value to them if you can be a company that they can rely on.

Understanding the changing expectations of the new consumer

The buying process has changed over the last 10 years. The internet has revolutionised the way we all do business and Print Service Providers need to keep pace with these changes. Today's buyer is looking for solutions that make their lives easier. They are used to buying from online stores like Amazon and when they have to deal with a company who processes are still very manual they can feel disappointed. When they order from an online store they put in their order and click go, they get a confirmation by email, they can track where their order is and chase it if it is delayed. They don't want to be ringing up suppliers on the phone checking on every little detail. They want a buying experience that is smooth, efficient and predictable.

Improve your current offering

So if you could give your customers their own shopfront you could make their buying experience happier and more efficient. Claritum provides web based storefronts for Print Service Providers and we have found that providing a familiar shopping experience for customers results in a high level of adoption and usage. Our easy-to-use system makes is easy for customers to search for services, configure and order products and services but it also gives Print Service Providers the tools to automate the order process and make their operations more efficient.

Hold onto existing customers for longer

We all know that it takes a lot more effort, time and luck to get a new client than to keep an existing one, but many companies struggle with how to keep customers feeling well take care of when the sales team has moved on to looking for new revenues. The key to keeping customers is delivering the value that was promised, providing attention to detail and offering something that continues to improve the way the business operates. If you don't have the staff available to dedicate a customer service rep (CSR) to each customer then automation and efficiences are critical to this endeavour. We have found that when print service providers have implemented a customer storefront for their customers, they keep those customers longer. Going the extra mile to provide your customers with their own catalog means you become more valuable to them, and they will be much less likely to take their business elsewhere.

Increase spend from existing customers

Do you know how much your existing customers spend? Could you pull up a report that shows show how much each one of your clients spent over the last quarter or year? Or would you have to pool through disorganised manual records to get that information? If you can analyse your customers spend you can anticipate it. If you know what they ordered in the past you can nudge them to reorder in the future. So how smoothly can you handle reorders for a customer? If the reordering process is manual it could lead to mistakes. For example; if a customer calls up and asks to reorder some new business cards and asks that they have the same specification as last time, your manual process could lead to mistakes. Your customer will assume that you have accurate records detailing their past orders. They won't feel they need to explain what they want again, they may not even be the person that placed the original order, all they know is that they want the same thing again and they expect you to know what that was. If you don't have accurate records then you can end up getting the order wrong. The customer wanted attention to detail but what he got was a mistake. A mistake like this costs businesses customers, and it can be avoided if you have automated ordering processes in place. Once orders are automated and stored in a cloud based system you can access them at anytime, orders are not lost and you can hang on to them for as long as you like. If a customer wants to reorder something that they last ordered 2 years ago you won't have to say that "our records don't go back that far" you can look it up in your system and impress your customer with your efficiency. Automated re-ordering also takes up less of your staffs time, leaving them free to focus on getting new customers for the business.

How much will this cost me?

If you were to try to create your own bespoke system to provide customers with their own storefront and automate your backend processes from scratch then this would be costly for you to acheive. However, Claritum has developed a cloud based e procurement platform that can be tailored for your requirement and can be ready to use within hours of you signing up. With minimal upfront cost's and a reasonably priced monthly subscription we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much this will cost you. We are also confident that you will start to see savings and efficiences immediately, helping to make you a more profitable and competitive business in your marketplace. If you would like a callback from one of our team or would like to see a demo of the Claritum system then sign up now.

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