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Are you losing clients? Here’s how creating sticky customers can help

The pdf is the curse of the print industry

This may seem like a strange thing to say. After all, the pdf has made it easy for clients to create artwork and send us jobs. It has made proofing a cheaper and more efficient process. It has made the lengthy and complicated artworking a thing of the past.

But it has also led to a transactional job culture.

It is now much easier for a customer to change supplier simply by sending a pdf to a different e-mail address. The pdf has made it much easier for clients to buy on price. It has reduced customer loyalty.

That’s why printing companies should develop sticky customers.

What is a sticky customer?


Learn how to create loyal customers

A sticky customer is one that cannot move easily from their current supplier. There is something in the way they work that makes it difficult to move.

Naturally, it is difficult to create sticky customers if all you do is put ink on paper. However, as soon as you start selling services it is much easier to keep your customers.

Why are sticky customers important?

Printing companies that create sticky customers will have much longer lasting partnerships with their clients. They have a much better chance of controlling the customer relationship. They will also find it easier to achieve their press loadings and sales targets.

Printers that stick to selling individual jobs will find it far harder to achieve these targets. They are more likely to be stuck selling to a commodity market. They are more likely to be consistently driven down on price.

Here are some examples of how to create a sticky customer


It’s much harder for a client to change supplier if all their artwork templates are held by their printer.


If you are managing all the picking, packing and deliveries for a customer they cannot just send a pdf elsewhere.


This may seem easy to place elsewhere. However, many people have an emotional investment in their design. They want to find a designer they can trust. Manufacturing is much easier to move.

In all these cases, if a client wants to change supplier they are going to have to do some work. It’s not just a case of sending a pdf elsewhere. They are going to have to research a new supplier. They are going to have to make sure that the new supplier can offer all the right levels of service. They will have to spend time setting up new processes

A new supplier is going to have to offer significant advantages to make it worth the client moving.

Here are three things to do if you want to start creating sticky clients

  1. Select the type of customer that you want more of
  2. Work out the key sticky services that will be useful to them (you can always talk to current similar customers to find this out)
  3. Create a new service offering around this

When you create the right sticky services, suddenly the pdf doesn’t seem so threatening.
PS If you want more ideas on how to engage with prospects succesfully, download this essential resource. You’ll also be signed up to the “Views From The Buyer Community” at no cost, where you receive useful resources, tips, rants and stories three time a week.

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