We opened Stafford Printing just over 32 years ago. At that time, a black-on-white thermographic business card – meaning it had raised print – would take about three weeks to produce from start to finish. As the fax machine became commonplace, an order could be faxed to the manufacturer, and we would in turn receive a proof back in a few days, which we would then fax to the customer.
Everyone was happy with this back-and-forth process. Three weeks was considered a reasonable time frame from order to delivery. A rush order – where a frantic client might say that they needed the cards within a week – would be produced in-house for delivery just in the nick of time!
Of course, times and technology have changed over the years, and so have our expectations about ease of production and turnaround. Some industries and companies have kept up with these developments; others have remained mired in the old, more labored ways of doing things.
I thought about this today as I filled out forms in the doctor’s office. Even though there have been no changes to my personal information, I was handed three sheets of paper, two of them printed front-to-back, and I was instructed to re-fill out the forms. I couldn’t imagine why this was necessary, since they already have all my information. It was frustrating, and it made me want to hand over a copy of Shep Hyken’s Convenience Revolution.
In his book, Hyken writes about how to deliver a customer service experience that disrupts the competition and creates fierce loyalty. The secret sauce: reduce friction between you and the customer; be convenient. Answer the phone when a client calls instead of having them navigate a phone tree. Make the ordering process efficient and easy to understand. Communicate clearly regarding job completion and delivery. In short, make things as easy and frictionless for your customer as possible. Don’t make them do unnecessary work.
I believe Stafford Printing is a good company. Our goal is to be great. Making it easier to do business with us is a goal we work toward every day. Thank you for being on the journey with us. We appreciate your business, support and loyalty.