Serving Clients in the Online Print Industry

I hope no customer of mine will read this, but I must say out loud – clients can be difficult, vicious and cruel. But we have no choice, do we? Not only we need them, but we are on a constant search for new ones. Why? Because they are our source of income and they know it. So they use it to squeeze our last drop of good will visit us.

There are products and services which clients can’t complaint about. It’s a kind of “take it or leave it” such as: stands of commodities in big supermarkets – reach out and take what ever is available. You didn’t find what you like? Go somewhere else! And if we are talking about services, let’s say you went to the Municipal hall, you came to the clerk who is responsible to solve your problem, and you didn’t like the explanations and answers he gave you – what exactly are you going to do? Replace him with another clerk? Go to his superior? Threaten him? Move away from this city?

Maybe because of situations like these, when service seekers are filling helpless, they behave as if they are taking a revenge from people who serve them as clients. Now the server is in their mercy. Further more: I experienced cases when a server, in one situation, became a client in another situation, and all what he suffered from his clients he treated his server, but much more viciously.

After I have worked in several different fields of sales and services I realized that no matter what the commodity you sell or service you give, no matter who the client is or who the salesman is or who the server is, social-economy status speaking, it’s all the same, the same scenes repeat it again and again.

In the printing market it’s even worse. Here the client can abuse the server in ways unimaginable. Let’s take the case when the client comes to the print shop and bring with him an example of what he wants: business cards, business magnet, invitations, postcards, rubber stamps, no matter what… and if he doesn’t have one he sits near by the graphic artist and together they design the desired product. One way or another, the client gets a prototype of the product (let’s say business cards) as if it passed through all the production procedure. The client approves the prototype and it goes into the full manufacturing process according to the quantity he ordered. Several days later, or some times several hours later, the client comes to collect his order. And now the story begins! He is taking a look at the product and tells you that this is not exactly what he asked for. The print shop owner (or manager) checks patiently, professionally and objectively the client’s disqualifying remarks and in most of the cases there is nothing to it. Yet this is the easy case. What’s more frustrating is when the client admits that this is exactly what he ordered but now when he sees it – he doesn’t like it!! Fine! But now he doesn’t want to take it with him and of course he doesn’t want to pay for the job.