Being customer-focused has never been more important. Customers have a wide range of decorators from which to choose and expect personalized service, convenience, a smooth ordering process, and speedy delivery of their products. Imagine if a shop not only met these demands, but added delight to the experience in creative and unexpected ways. Now that is a shop you want to do more business with and tell the world about!
“Customer experience is the next competitive battleground. It’s where business is going to be won or lost.” – Tom Knighton
Here are some ideas to bring the WOW factor to your shop’s customer experience:-
1. Give Thanks
A handwritten ‘thank you’ message on a packing slip or invoice is a nice personal touch. Wish your customer well for their event, launch, or celebration, and pop in a discount voucher for their next order. The fact that your shop took the time to write a personal, thoughtful note shows you truly value their business.
2. Keep customers informed
Keep customers in the loop on the progress of their orders with email or SMS updates as the job progresses. Not only will they appreciate the service but it removes the need for the customer to have to chase you for updates. Add a little fun to it by including a photo of their job on press, a fun gif, or by otherwise injecting some personality into your email templates. To find out more about DecoNetwork’s customer management tools here.
3. Add value
For loyal customers surprise them with an offer of a free upgrade from a standard garment to a premium one, free setup, or perhaps a speedier shipping service in appreciation for their business. You can also offer this to new accounts that you’d like to impress to help secure the sale.
4. Follow up
Make it a goal to contact every customer within one week after delivery with a follow-up call or personal email about their order. Invite them to post an online review or to complete a survey about their experience with your shop. Customers appreciate being asked for their feedback and it shows that you care enough about your service, to continually look for ways to improve. You may even get a nice testimonial that you can share on your website and social channels. Just be sure to ask!
You can also follow up with customers who haven’t ordered from you in a while. Try to personalize the email by asking how their business is going or what they have been involved in lately. You don’t always need to chase a sale in follow-up emails, as they will naturally be reminded of your shop and will be more likely to think of you when they need decorated apparel.
5. Complementary samples
For large accounts and regular customers, encourage your sales team to identify products they haven’t been ordering, but that may be of interest to them. Ask them to make a note of a free sample that they can add to the print/embroidery run to WOW the customer. It could be a tote bag, a fanny pack (or bumbag as we call them in Australia), a cap, or even an infant tee for their new baby. Something that is relevant to them will be noticed, showing your range as a company, and opening up the opportunity for a future order.
6. Reward loyalty
Look for special moments to surprise long-term and large volume customers with a spontaneous gift. Events like birthdays, work anniversaries, a product launch, business milestone, or perhaps just the anniversary of their first order with you, are good opportunities to make a customer feel special. It could be simply paying for their morning coffee via a gift card, sending personalized cookies or cupcakes to their team, sending a bouquet of flowers to the owner, or creating something more grandiose like a gift basket or collection of your favorite entrepreneurial books.
Make notes in your customer files of any special interests or key dates in each business’s file, these notes help you plan a gift that is thoughtful, apt, and that shows you take notice of the little details. The best thing, of course, they’ll want to share this sweet surprise with their friends and family too!
7. Host an event
Image credit: https://www.soulandinkcrew.com/
Organize an open house for your VIP customers and give them a behind-the-scenes tour of your shop. Allow them to see the tools, display the latest products from your suppliers, show samples of your work, and inspire them with specialty finishes, techniques, and the latest trends in design. It is a great chance for customers and team members to meet face-to-face and to demonstrate your expertise and passion for your craft. Delight your invited guests with drinks and snacks and a take-home shirt or bag of goodies.
8. Share the love
Show your support for your customer’s businesses by helping to raise the profile of their brand. Give them an unprompted shout-out on social and tag them in when you sing their praises. Not only are you helping your customers succeed, but you are demonstrating to all of your followers that you genuinely care about and support your customers’ businesses. Likewise, if a customer gives you a shout-out, be sure to promptly acknowledge and thank them for it.
9. Be attentive
Take the time to listen to the story of their business, the reason they need shirts, what’s important to them, and how they will use the products. This way you will not only serve their needs but offer product ideas and finishes that give their order the WOW factor whilst being the perfect fit for them. Partner this with a streamlined ordering process and a helpful, responsive attitude to their questions. Make it easy and enjoyable to order from you. For more tips on responsive customer service check out Erich’s post here.
10. Powerful packaging
Image credit: Awesome Merch http://www.robot-food.com/work/awesome-merchandise/
Make the experience of receiving goods an impactful one through your packaging. Brand your boxes and parcels with logo stickers, styled tape, or custom printing. Neatly pack the items with a packing slip and aforementioned discount voucher. Give some swag by sending a unique branded item such as stickers, drink coolers, t-shirt shaped notepads, a coloring in book, a picture of the crew making their products, or a print/embroidery themed enamel pin or patch. Take your last chance to leave a good impression and add excitement to unboxing their products. Get creative!
At a screen printing shop that I worked for, a clever dispatcher and budding artist would draw personalized illustrations on the boxes before shipping them out. It could be based on their logo or their print artwork or just something cool he felt inspired to do, but it was always unique and tailored to the customer. The customers and team loved it!
Never underestimate the power of delivering delight and nurturing your customer relationships in meaningful ways. We all love to tell the world about superior service, be it at a new restaurant, a hotel, or that local screen printer who delivered amazing custom shirts and was a joy to deal with. These creative experiments in delighting your customers can be a great source of inspiration and motivation for you and your team. Try these ideas and brainstorm your own to keep your shop in the hearts and minds of your customers.