Tuesday, May 2, 2017
We’ve all been there: Customer calls multiple times, either changing their order, adding to it or just altering the design or placement. You can’t seem to get to “Final Answer” but they still want their job by the original deadline. Only that’s getting closer and closer….or worse, you’ve already started the job. Now what?
You must draw the line in the sand. Small hurdle or huge ordeal? Take a minute to access the situation. Is this latest change something you can reasonably do? Can you keep them happy and still meet your deadline? Will you need to charge more for this addition? Of course, you want to keep the customer and you should absolutely do anything that you can to make them happy in the name of customer service, right? Right! ...... sort of.
Resist the urge to tell them that anything can be done for a price. While true at times remember that you cannot buy more time, so it’s up to you whether you’d like to place your sleeping bag in front of the machine or pay for overtime to get the job finished. Then there’s the fees that may be required for the change including the possible editing of the design, more garments, more supplies (thread, backing toppings), rush fees, more shipping or pick up fees, etc. In the case of design changes, you need to go through the approval process again so there are no surprises or issues on what the customer expects. Failing to get the new version of the design pre-approved before production can bite you in the butt, even if it’s just for a slightly different size or color. All these things eat up time, time you don’t really have if you are to meet the deadline.
Specifically, with regard to the digitizing, as always, get as much information as possible about what the customer now wants, what’s been changed and get an idea of how much time it will take to edit the design and if there are fees involved. If the change is size related, have an idea of what size they now want. Telling the digitizer, “I don’t know, just smaller” doesn’t help either of you to be timely. Be specific and you can get back on track to the deadline faster.
Finally, be up front with your customer and let them know as soon as possible if there will be any costs because of the changes they’re making. Give them a choice so they are not surprised when the bill comes. Be honest and realistic about what you can get done in the time you have and whether you can still meet the deadline. If you say you can, then you definitely need to! Maybe your customer can take a partial order at deadline and receive the rest after; let the customer decide. That’s how you cross the finish line!
***For more information on NeedleUp’s digitizing services, visit our website at http://www.needleup.com or contact Donna Lehmann by email: firstname.lastname@example.org