Who Moved My Customers?

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Who Moved My Customers?

Your customers are online today, they are transacting in a self service manner online in their personal lives and they are transacting with other vendors in a self service manner in the business lives. Why is there resistance to meeting the customers where they are for procuring print?

Your customers moved online when they were given the opportunity because for just about every routine transaction, self service is more convenient than full service. Excellent service, hand holding, cannot compete with “time savings” and convenience anymore. Time is the ultimate precious resource today, when you continue to force your customers into a manual process (e-mail, FTP, etc…) you consume their time.

Let go of control, let go of your limiting beliefs about how much knowledge is required to specify a print job, do this before one of two things happens. A competitor steps in a shows your customer how they can save them time and/or a digital native steps in a shows your customer how much easier it is to buy, monitor, and track marketing dollars online vs. print.


  1. Jim Rosenthal on November 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    This is spot on. But here’s the catch – for those who wait to deal with this, it will only hasten the downfall. Don’t ask the customer how they want to be communicated with. Show them the better way – while making it seem like its exactly what they want. Whether it saves time or is more convenient its irrelevant. Its how good the customer feels about the experience. If they feel good, they will do it that way and ultimately save time and money as will us printers.

  2. Roger Buck on November 2, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Nice capture of what needs to happen. Many will need to “walk the talk” first before trying to move clients to their online world. When the statement was made “Whatever can be digital will be digital” we go far beyond Ebill and Epayment. In someways it’s a reverse cycle. Digital print will drive online ordering, specification development, file creation, proofing/approval and creative concept. Eventually it will be from thought to product delivery. And it’s not that far off. The benefits of digital technology in the print world help the client, printer, printer reseller, creative design and copywriter among others.

  3. Jennifer Matt on November 2, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Roger – agreed, there are multiple trends converging, digital technologies (digital printing, personalization, etc…) and a digital infrastructure that extends our reach if we learn how to harness it. The key is to focus on the benefits for your customers (not you). Convenience is a driving factor in almost every purchasing decision. Printers can expand their capabilities, offer new products and services, have great customer service but all that isn’t enough anymore – – the customer wants it to be brilliantly EASY TO WORK WITH YOU. So easy in fact that they want the option to do it themselves.

  4. Jennifer Matt on November 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Jim – agree with most of it, you’re right in that if you’re waiting on customers to tell you what they want, give up now. People generally don’t like change and if you frame the question in terms of change – you will almost always get “lets just keep doing what we’re doing.” The convenience part and making it brilliantly easy part comes into play when your customers are looking for ways to be more efficient. You have a great relationship with your customer (meaning you work daily with a few folks there who “love you.”) The people who manage these people are looking for ways to build efficiencies, the last thing you want them to tell their management is, I spend 30% of my day dealing with the printer. This will be a red flag – find a process that only takes 10% of their day or less. People feel good when things are easy, people feel good when they are efficient.

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