Articles

When Details Matter: Effective Customer Relations for Print & Signage Installations Provider

Nov 3, 2021

Good working relationships are essential in the print & signage business – everyone prefers dealing with people with similar values they can truly rely on. But relationships don’t just appear out of nowhere  — you have to work on them, building trust and loyalty as you go.

So, how do you make your customer relations shine, resulting in more deals for years to come? 

Pay attention to small details

An old saying about taking care of your finances says: “Look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves”. 

This received wisdom means that by focusing on the small details, you will benefit your wide-format print business as a whole. By ensuring you meet your clients’ most crucial needs and offer great customer service, you are likely to make them stick in the way they wouldn’t without the same approach, no matter how good you are at your job.

This means not only responding fast and providing regular job updates but also offering an additional value — personalised service to each client.

Where things can go wrong

Day-to-day problems that wide-format print and signage specialists typically come across are:

  • availability of a specialist installer or the right size of the installation team
  • missing documentation
  • printed graphics installation mix-ups
  • requirements changes 
  • keeping track of larger rollouts or projects
  • wasting time on repetitive admin tasks
  • linking teams together with the same job information, timely communication.

Great project management and an effective workflow are essential to getting all these small details right, and the most crucial and overarching issue to deal with is communication. 

The importance of effective communication for signage & graphics business success

Productive business relationships are built on excellent communication. The wide-format printing industry is not an exception. Your communication should be designed so that your customers get accurate and timely job updates.

For instance, once the printed graphic is installed in a store, make sure to update your customer immediately or send a notification. Faster & enjoyable updates for your customer are a sure way to make them remember the experience of working with you.

A piece from Workplace Psychology flags up a couple of cases where a lack of communication was the cause of lost customers — in the first one, a skilled consultant neglected to answer emails; in the second, the consultant failed to keep clients informed about problems that might delay delivery of services. The takeaway message is that you need to provide excellent customer service and timely updates no matter how skilled you are or are good at your job.

Only by keeping your customers with the most complete & latest project updates can you instil confidence in your ability to handle all their needs. Not replying to messages in good time and with comprehensive answers will be a significant bugbear for all clients. 

So, how can you make sure you have the oversight needed to manage an efficient printing & graphics installation process while responding to any customer queries?

Go with the (work)flow

Instigating a proper workflow supported by workflow management software for printers will ensure that everyone is on the same page and updated when a graphics installation has been completed, and the work approved. A good workflow will also help you to ensure you have reasonable stock control and team management.

All this is crucial in showing your customers that you are on top of their work, giving them confidence in your delivery, time after time.

How to deliver on the details

Good organisation is key to excellent customer relations, and it needs to take in every element of the work, from job creation to installation sign off. Here are some ways to achieve efficiency and excellent communication:

Team availability and coordination

Use a shared calendar showcasing all the installations due to be completed, which installers are available and when. A common jobs board will simplify work with freelancers and in-house teams at the same time.

Make sure you understand the type of installation and the skills needed to accurately match team members to the job, ensuring each job goes smoothly with no delays. Specialist software such as Vism can help with task delegation for the most efficient workflow.

Documentation

Having a central repository for documentation and an effective system for sharing it with all relevant parties is essential, especially when you’re dealing with remote teams. Try to phase out any paper copies — these are easy to lose and difficult to update and guarantee version control. Not having to pop into the office for paperwork also saves time for installers and clients.

Working with digital copies of files that you save in a single tab that is accessible to others will ensure that everyone is up to date with the same versions of paperwork and that a shared record is kept of all stages of a project.

Updates

Try to get all your communication on one platform, so you’re not hunting around for messages and updates in emails, WhatsApp, phone messages etc. Effective workflow keeps processes moving according to plan so that everyone is on the same page.

Coordination

By keeping all your project information in one place, you can ensure that everything is coordinated in a standardised way so that you and your customers can be confident you have a handle on everything. When you’re working with multiple teams, keeping everything coordinated is essential. Centralised management is a great way to do this, with regular updates on how jobs are proceeding and which parts of the operation are working well.

Receiving photo updates

Instant sharing of signage installation photos and electronic approval signatures by installers facilitate quick updates for you and your customers without waiting for you to check in to the office. 

For example, calling around for an update for a brand manager on a complex rollout can take time. However, if you get a notification instantly once each installation is complete, you will be able to notify your customers immediately. Solutions are available that support instant online reporting, such as the Vism installer app, which allows teams on the ground to submit photos and signatures as soon as the job is complete.

Inspire trust and loyalty

Remember that something that may seem minor to you may be a severe issue for someone else. Always put yourself in their position and deliver the service that you would want to receive.

By ensuring you have the right systems in place to run an efficient and effective business, you can also build great relationships with customers, keeping them up to date so they never have to wonder how things are going — or whether you are the right choice for the job.


Yaryna Finyak, Content Executive

Want to see what Vism can do
for your business?

Get a free 15 minute demo

Get a demo

Join hundreds of industry peers, get smart installation tips to your inbox!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.