A Tip On Managing Customer Expectations
Make it Simple
Keep your message clear and straightforward. Make it easy for potential customers to understand the value they will receive from doing business with you.
Ever notice when you tell someone you’re a screen printer, you’re instantly their new screen printer? They will hit you with a bunch of “funny” shirt ideas for their budding t-shirt line and possibly even call you for a small order. They might want four shirts and claim the next order will be for thousands of prints. Oh, and you’ll be asked to create the artwork. This is obviously not profitable (unless you can offer a direct to garment solution) and can eat up your valuable time for nothing more than a high five and hopefully enough money to pay for the cost of materials. Clearly, this is not sustainable and or wise if you’re focusing on growing your business and maintaining healthy profit margins.
Six years of running my shop taught me that time is of the utmost concern for most customers. By the time the order gets to you, it’s already late in some cases. People procrastinate and often look for the screen printer with the fastest turnarounds. You can try to accommodate these customers by interrupting your production schedule and possibly bumping one of your loyal bread and butter customers for the sake of a new client’s lack of planning, or you can accommodate rush orders during slow periods. I personally never felt right about charging rush fees. When you rush, you make mistakes, and mistakes cost you money.
Check out this cool graphic our friends at Danger Press created to share with their customers on the subject of expectations: