Three things printing companies must do at Christmas

Posted by Matthew Parker

Would you be able to plan your Christmas in just 30 minutes?

I was told about a couple who entered a supermarket only 30 minutes before it closed on Christmas Eve. The husband raced round to get all the ingredients for their Christmas lunch. Meanwhile, the wife was busy buying presents.

I hear they made it to the checkout with seconds to spare! However, I can’t help thinking that it was all a bit of a rush. Surely things would have been more enjoyable if they had done some planning first.

Printing companies also need to plan for Christmas

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Printing companies should realise that they have great sales opportunities at Christmas

Printing companies that start planning for Christmas now will find that they have more control over their time. They will be able mark the occasion to as they wish with their customers. They will have time to make sure that they build great client relationships at this time of year.

Printing companies that leave everything until the last minute will not achieve these goals. They risk failing to mark the occasion for their clients if there is a last-minute rush of jobs. That’s not a great way to build customer relationships.

But, just in case you are still planning, here are three things you should be thinking about at the moment.

Tell customers when you are open

If you only do one thing at this time of year, make sure that everyone knows when you are open and when you are closed. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer going to find that they can’t get through to someone because they are working to a different set of Christmas holiday times.

Equally, this may be an opportunity to pick up new clients. I have sometimes had to change suppliers in order to get jobs produced between Christmas and the New Year.

However, there are opportunities to mark this time of year in a rather more festive way.

Send your clients cards

Make sure that you have a production slot booked for your Christmas Cards. You also need to have all the mailing details lined up. Finally, your staff need to be prepared for a marathon signing session!

Christmas cards I actually a great way to kill customer relationships if they are done wrong. Have a look here to find out some common mistakes with Christmas cards.

Don’t even think about just sending an email. Remember, you are a printing company. Your customers deserve more than an email. Some customers deserve more than a card.

Pick your top 10 customers

You should aim to mark the festive season more memorably with these customers. After all, if they are in your top 10 list, they are doing good things for you. You should do something good for them to.

You might consider giving key contacts a present. Naturally, this present will be chosen according to their personal tastes. That will mean much more to them the bottle of wine or box of chocolates that most suppliers send.

Some customers may not be happy about receiving presents. You could arrange to take them out for a special meal or even a trip to the theatre or something similar. Alternatively, they may be just as happy with a personal letter sending season’s greetings and explaining why they are important to you as a customer.

Of course, some printing companies may feel that this is a not to do at this time of year.

Isn’t it a bit late now?

Ideally, your planning for this time of year should have started earlier. However, you still have time to get things done. The majority of the suggestions here can be actioned in a two or three hour session with just two people.

Nevertheless, you need to put some time in the diary and get moving quickly.

Here are your three action points for this time of year

  1. Communicating your opening times to all customers and prospects
  2. Schedule your Christmas card campaign
  3. Make sure you mark the occasion memorably with your top 10 customers

I have a fourth action point for you too.

Get going now

After all, you can’t afford to be like the couple who organised everything on Christmas Eve.
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