Monday, July 8, 2013
Embroidery Digitizing - Educating the Customer
A few months ago, a promotional sales customer of mine (We’ll call her Sally) sent over a design to digitize for her customer for an event they were having. If you’re in the industry, you know the minute they say the word “event”, you have a rock solid deadline.
Artwork was sent over and discussed and digitizing began since we had limited time. The design involved a main event logo and two sponsor logos and pricing had been quoted for such.
We had less than a week to complete the digitizing, get approval, send the stitch file to the embroiderer and complete the production. The problem was, Sally’s customer kept changing the design; major graphic changes. Every time the design was completed, it was sent for approval and came back with new art and changes. Sometimes there would be two or three in a day. On the third day there was another issue with one of the sponsors and they had been replaced so we had to add another design into the fray. Each time a change was made, the stitch count would go up (of course) and consequently the price of not only the digitizing but the production estimate the embroiderer had given them….and the clock was ticking!
Now, we were happy to make the changes but the customer was unhappy that editing fees were incurred and the embroiderer no longer wanted to stick with the quote they had given them for production…..understandable. Sally just said, “Hey, that’s what they said they wanted.” But she never took the time in the beginning to explain the process and that changing the original art causes delays and editing fees. She didn’t even ask if this was the final art before starting the digitizing. Sally’s customer just figured they’d pay for whatever final design they ended up with and they expected the embroiderer to stick with the quote they were given regardless of the changes and final stitch count.
Had Sally explained the process to her customer better, we could have avoided the confusion, had no surprises and actually been more efficient getting her customer what they wanted. Things worked out in the end, we comped some edits and Sally paid for some also. We also worked to get the stitch count down on the design as much as possible so the production wasn’t too high and working with the embroiderer, we hit their event date. The customer was thrilled with their shirts. All was successful.
It’s our job as professionals to make the customer happy and we do it every day. But communication is essential to making things go smoothly. Spend some time educating your customer about the process so they’re not surprised by the costs of their embroidery. If they’re still in the planning stages, explain to them that making major graphic changes to the design after digitizing only makes their costs go up. Changes they are making to the art need to happen at the graphic stage before digitizing.
After all, if you educate your customer, their order goes smoother, they understand what to expect and they’ll likely return because you made it work!
Of course, sometimes these things happen and can’t be helped. This is why a relationship with a good digitizing firm makes all the difference. Someone who is readily available to you and can roll with the changes so you can still meet your deadline. NeedleUp Digitizing is that company.
It should also be noted that like most good digitizers, NeedleUp includes small edits and changes in the design process. Things like trims, color breaks, small text & coding changes and adjustments for sew-ability are all part of getting the customer a design they will love.