Customer service is often pegged as the key to a successful business, but what does it really mean and how do you put it into action? It’s a question that AEC Printing in Flagstaff, Ariz., has been asking and searching for as it seeks to improve its customer service and ultimately grow its business.
“Customer service is our biggest priority. We can’t offer customers something they can’t already get online or at another printing company. The one thing we can offer is great customer service, which is something they can’t get everywhere. I thought we were doing a pretty good job until I started using LexJet and realized we could do a lot more,” explains Amy Dryden, owner of AEC Printing.
Dryden recently described her experience with LexJet customer service at her blog, Green Sprout. Since she has been constantly mulling over the customer service concept and implementing customer-oriented practices, her discovery of LexJet and its emphasis on enhancing the customer experience, capped by a phone call from Art Lambert – LexJet’s co-founder and owner – came at the perfect time.
“My conversation with Art was great, because at the time I was thinking I don’t know if we can make this company any bigger, and he really made me remember why I’m excited about doing this and that we can make it grow,” explains Dryden. “I had been thinking about posting something about customer service anyway because I think about it all the time, and then I had a conversation with Art that was so relevant to what I was thinking about that I typed the blog up half an hour after I got off the phone with him. I thought we were doing a pretty good job until I started using LexJet and realized we could do a lot more.”
One aspect of customer service AEC has down pat is personal service. It’s easy to be impersonal in the digital age and let the computer handle most everything, but AEC has emphasized personal contact. Moreover, Dryden has empowered each employee to make independent decisions they think are best for the customer.
“You’ll never come in the door with a print job or a problem and have to wait to talk to me to get it fixed. My employees can do anything they need to do that seems like a good idea to make sure the customer is happy, and that’s helped a lot,” explains Dryden.
Perhaps the most important customer service element Dryden has found is simple clarity. AEC Printing takes a very straightforward, no-nonsense approach to its customers and potential customers, even going so far as to recommend they go somewhere else. Though AEC Printing does just about any type of printing imaginable, from large format to small format commercial printing, there are times when they know they can’t meet the customer’s needs to a tee.
“We want to avoid situations where customers don’t get what they wanted. Rather than killing ourselves to meet their needs when we know we can’t, we’ll encourage them to go elsewhere. This is much better than having a dissatisfied customer who’s stuck with something they won’t be able to use. We do not allow people to have that experience,” says Dryden.