Big box stores like Office Depot may be able to sell their color copies for a few cents less, but can their staff suggest new printing techniques? Can they offer advice on the best way to print or lay out that direct mail postcard? Can they bring design and printing experience to the table and directly apply it to the customer’s needs?
The answer is probably no. The printing clerk at Office Depot has about as much training as a cashier and their products are straight-forward and basic. So, as a smart print or sign shop owner you should be focusing on what you can do better… and that’s customized customer service.
Help Customers Get Customized
You could help a customer with a thousand plain copies or you could suggest products like postcard printing, which might be more effective and actually not that much more expensive once you get into the higher numbers.
The point is, you should constantly be trying to help your customer access products and services that only you can provide. It’s half upselling and half pointing out to your customers what sets you apart from the competition.
Why not take 20 minutes and come up with a list of products & services that only you can provide in your area?
Even if some service require a few design consultations or helping your customers with layouts from time to time, it could be worth it. That kind of personal service will allow you to charge more for your printing and distinguish you from the Big Box boys.
Show Your Customers What You Can Do
Finally, you know that you can do a lot more than a basic big box store, but do your customers know that?
Instead of posting a price list on the wall and calling it a day, you should be actively showing your customers what you can do. Don’t just tell them you can print a stunning large-format UV curable banner, print one and hang it up.
Check out Fight the Big Box Stores Part 3: “Specific Strategies“