PrintIT and its sister publication Business Info frequently highlight the importance of good customer service and the dangers of neglecting the wishes of customers. This position is backed up by copious studies showing how quickly consumers tire of poor service and switch supplier. However, there is just as much evidence indicating the opposite. Just look at utilities. People love to complain about electricity suppliers. Yet, when it comes to switching, very few can be bothered. So why would power companies ‘do the right thing’ and automatically make sure existing customers receive the best tariff? They would be mad to do so. That being the case,
are we wrong to encourage readers to spend money on solutions designed to improve the customer experience?
Clearly not. Utilities are a special case; they have a simple, limited relationship with customers and are all, rightly or wrongly, perceived as being very much alike. Most organisations have more complex engagements with customers, with more give and take and opportunities to extend the relationship through additional sales or even partnerships. As outrage over the dubious fund-raising tactics of leading charities makes clear, such relationships require sensitivity and tact in order to blossom. Print output management solutions like Neopost’s NeoPreference (see page 7) are important in this context.
By automatically distributing documents in a customer’s preferred format (e.g. digitally by email or weblink or in printed form through the post) as part of an integrated workflow, they enable organisations to communicate with customers in their preferred format and increase the likelihood that sales and marketing messages will be received with an open mind.
Output management solutions also aid and support corporate digitisation strategies and can help save money and improve efficiency by substituting printed communications with digital messaging. Not everyone favours electronic communications – as we report on page 35, paper still has its supporters – but clearly a large proportion will choose email over mail. Meeting and managing this expectation won’t just strengthen customer relationships; it will also save the cost of paper and print and can help a business reduce its carbon footprint. A true win:win situation.
James Goulding, Editor
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