There are few things I look forward to more than the PrintWeek Awards judging days, because they’re a fantastic way to observe how the industry is evolving.
Some years it’s the speed of technological change or the range of new applications in the quality awards that especially impresses, but the category that probably best signified the evolution of the industry in 2017 was Customer Service Team of the Year. Arguably the toughest category this year.
The days of customer service being measured in terms of the number of rings it takes a business to answer the phone are long gone. The standard and volume of entries this year was simply incredible.
Some featured what can only be described as a forensic analysis of a customer’s needs; identifying their pain points, developing strategies to ease them and then the flawlessly executing said strategy to ensure an enhanced customer experience.
Others demonstrated how print businesses had risen to exceptional market challenges to ensure that customers new and old received the same high quality of service regardless of the chaos in the markets they operated in.
The entries also showed how a scientific study of existing customers buying patterns, which were then mapped against a new CRM strategy, delivered an amazing uplift in business for the printers concerned and simultaneously enhanced the customers’ journeys and ROI.
And then were those that used customer training, for want of a better phrase, delivered through experiential or video tutorials to deepen the relationship between customer and supplier.
And finally there were those that demonstrated flawless customer service through industry standard ratings platforms and detailed the strategies that helped them attain them.
Virtually every entry was an inspiration, and most inspiring of all was that all the above was demonstrated by companies of all shapes and sizes.