Saying ‘no’ is not easy. It’s one of the hardest things you can do as a screen print business owner, especially when you have a customer who really wants something that you can’t provide. But it’s also a necessary part of running your company and keeping it successful in the long term. Saying no to customers when they want things isn’t usually an issue if you’re able to explain why their request won’t work for your business. However, sometimes even those explanations aren’t enough! In those cases, how should you respond?
Understand The Root Cause Of Problems
In order to understand the root cause of problems and effectively address them, you need to be an active and empathetic listener. This means that you should ask questions, listen attentively, and generally show that you are genuinely interested in what your customer is saying.
The first step is asking yourself why this client might be unhappy. What is their main concern? Is it about the product quality or delivery time? If it’s something else entirely (like poor communication), then focus on responding honestly and making sure they know how seriously you take their concerns.
Here are some examples of good responses:
Question: Can we first receive a sample run?
Response: Of course! But I do need a deposit to pay for the materials needed to complete this successfully.
Question: Can you give me a discount?
Response: If budget is a priority, let’s discuss what I can do that’ll fit the number you have in mind.
Questions: Can you do this for free?
Response: Think of this as an investment. Once you see the quality of our work, you’ll realize that you’re getting a premium service.
Question: Can you add these quick extra items?
Response: Sure, no problem! If it’s okay with you, I’ll just tack the extra items on your final invoice.
Question: Can we get unlimited artwork revisions?
Response: Sure! My original quote includes 2 revisions. After those revisions, if you realize you need more, we can adjust to hourly billing.
Listen First And Then Reply
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in business is that when someone asks for something, there’s a reason behind their request. They’re not just being random or demanding; there’s always an underlying issue or need that is driving them to make their request in the first place.
The best way to say no and still keep your customers happy is by listening first and then replying. Take some time before responding with a “no” and listen carefully to what they say. What exactly do they want from you? Is it possible that you can give them what they want through another method? If so, great! That’s one less customer who will be upset with you because they didn’t get their way today. Even if it’s not possible for both parties to come up with a mutually beneficial solution, paying attention is essential. It creates lifelong customers instead of inconsistent ones.
Explain Your Screen Print Process
Explain the screen print process to customers. Send an email or a link to your website that explains the steps involved in creating their order. Also send artwork approvals, product mockups, and detailed invoice breakdown. This will help eliminate last-minute changes and delays.
Keep them informed along the way. If anything changes with production, let them know as soon as possible so they can make any necessary adjustments. Avoid having a whole screen print run ruined because of something out of your control (like out-of-stock shirts). Keep customers updated on social media when there are any big announcements! It’s really helpful when people see how much effort goes into each project and how much love goes into even just one shirt!
Break down all the variables that can affect screen print pricing. For example, your supplier can sometimes have different pricing per product size and color. Dark-colored products will require a white base to be printed first. The number of colors in a design will drive ink expenses up. All of these cost variables may be known to you but they might not be obvious to your customer.
Frame Your Response Carefully
Don’t make it worse by being overly wordy or defensive. The idea here is to give a clear, concise, and to-the-point response that lets them know you value their business.
So what does this mean? How do you get there? Well, for starters:
- Use simple language. Avoid jargon and acronyms unless you know your customer will understand them. This is not the time for “inside baseball” or industry-specific terminology – keep it simple!
- Be polite and respectful. You can be direct without being rude or condescending by taking an approachable tone in your response (even when saying no). When someone feels heard, they are more likely to respect your decision even if they don’t agree with it! Keep in mind that ultimately we’re all just trying to get through life as best we can – so take care of each other out there!
Offer The Alternatives
In order to get the most out of your screen print customers and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship, it’s important to offer them solutions that will benefit their business as well as yours. Consider how you can offer the alternative without making it seem like an ultimatum or “take it or leave it” situation.
- Offer a solution that is cost-effective for them. You might be able to reduce costs by offering a lower price per unit, or you could offer discounts on bulk purchases in exchange for signing long-term contracts with you. Whatever method works best for your clientele and company culture, consider offering an option that saves time and money while still keeping their interest in mind (and saving yours).
- Offer a solution that’s easy to implement. Be sure any options offered are easy enough for clients who aren’t familiar with this type of marketing strategy—or at least make it easy enough so they don’t have any excuses left not to try something new!
Be Proactive And Do Follow-ups
Customer follow-ups are an important part of every screen printing process. To begin with, they allow you to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their orders. Second, they can help by giving actionable feedback you can use to improve your business model and make it more appealing to other potential clients.
Follow-up emails should be sent out after jobs are completed and paid for by the client. Not only do follow-ups show continued support for your client—but they also help build a relationship between yourself and the customer that can lead to future work opportunities down the road. After all, who would say no to someone who has already done great things for them?
Seek Customer Feedback
You should always be asking your customers for feedback. This can be as simple as a phone call or email exchange, or it could be a formal survey with specific questions about their experience with your business. Customer feedback is important for several reasons:
It teaches you how to avoid the same situation in the future by providing insight into what went wrong and why it happened.
Customer feedback gives you an opportunity to build trust with your customers by demonstrating that you care about their opinions and experiences. This builds loyalty among repeat customers, who will continue coming back if they feel like they’re being listened to and respected by you as a business owner.
Negative customer feedback is also an opportunity—if handled properly, there are ways that even negative feedback can strengthen your company!
In conclusion, it’s important to understand that when a customer wants something, they usually have a good reason for it. Your job is to keep your screen print customers happy by listening carefully and being empathetic. When you respond with empathy, you can avoid the argument that leads nowhere. This will build trust between both parties and help improve relationships overall!