Good service – is it really rocket science?

November 29, 2012

in Bin ends

Last month we had feedback from one client who thought our estimates for a project were a little on the high side. “We’d like to use Xcaliba because we know you’ll never let us down and always deliver”.  Apparently they were not experiencing the same pain-free Xcaliba experience with our competitors.

We have no problem with any client coming back to us with feedback on costs and operating the way we do, there is always an opportunity of trying to save costs. However, at what point does great service have little or no value? It’s a difficult question, especially as we are all under constant pressure to keep costs low.

It constantly surprises all of us at Xcaliba when we hear stories about poor service from other print suppliers.  In the current economic climate how can any company afford not to provide their clients with the best service levels?  The last few years have sadly seen many printing companies fall by the wayside – large and small alike.  Is it arrogance or ignorance that allow some printing companies to ignore deadlines?  What is the mind-set?  Our incomprehension is probably because we take our own high service levels as matter-of-fact and therefore expect everyone else to do the same.

Interestingly, as part of an introspective review we documented all of our procedures and practices.  Once we’d actually committed these processes to paper it became immediately obvious that the service levels that we take as just ‘what we do at Xcaliba’ were generally above and beyond the service levels of our competitors. 

Just a few of the examples were….

  • When we deliver boxes of printed paper to an office environment, we always try and make sure that each box weighs less than ten kilograms.  Whether the boxes are being moved around by a six foot six rugby player or a five foot netball player - no one wants to risk pulling a muscle by picking one of our boxes up. 
  • After artwork files have been supplied for a job we always look at the files to make sure the estimated method of working will achieve the best result from the artwork.  Sometimes a simple file amend can make a big difference on the printed item.  Just this week we were supplied files for a job printing on uncoated material with heavy black ink coverage.  By tweaking one of the pdf layers we were able to open up the image to prevent any of the images filling in from ink spread (with the clients permission of course).
  • There’s nothing more irritating than requesting an estimate and then the estimare response is sent to one of your colleagues.  We always ensure all the correct correspondance is sent to the relevent contact – this can mean an estimate to one contact, a proof to another and the delivery to someone different entirely.

Now the point of this blog is not a trumpet blowing exercise on our part, we think that these examples are just common sense but it does show that attention to the smallest detail can make a big difference in being able to provide great service.  We still find it bewildering that so many other print providers still haven’t worked it out for themselves.


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