Creating top notch labels and packaging is one way to leave a lasting impression. At Dscoop Edge, held March 24-27, 2019, in Orlando, FL, USA, the customer experience was a popular topic throughout the educational track and keynote presentations.
According to Vicki Strull, design strategist, 64% of consumers say that a positive customer experience is the biggest indication of brand loyalty. Meanwhile, 20% of millennials expect a customized experience.
Susan Moore, VP of sales at Tharstern, cited Tesla and the brand’s continued drive to shape the customer experience. “Be interested in what the customer has to say, and change their experience based on their feedback,” she noted.
According to Moore, brands can see revenues increase 10-15% while lowering the costs to serve their customer by 10-15%–all by providing better customer service. Plus, 86% of consumers say they would pay more for a product or service if it means receiving a better customer experience.
In Tharstern’s eyes, the customer experience will overtake price and product to be the new brand differentiator. “Changing the customer experience is very difficult to do,” said Moore. “Customer retention is also driving revenue. It can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer as it is to retain an existing one, and 66% of B2B customers say they’ll leave after one bad experience with a business. Improving the brand experience from ‘average’ to ‘wow’ increases the likelihood that a customer will buy another product by 30-50%.”
Digital printing is one way to tailor specific messages to the end user, especially with random versioning and targeted marketing. For example, different regions of the country can receive products geared toward their local college basketball team playing in the NCAA Tournament.
It’s also imperative to generate consistency between physical and digital channels. Strull stated that 58% of shoppers have used that store’s app while they’re in the shopping environment, be it for coupons or product research. Plus, 80% of Gen Z uses their mobile device while shopping.
In Alon Bar-Shany’s “State of the Industry” report, he cautioned against stagnation–both in solutions and customer service. “The world has changed a lot more in 10 years than we realize,” said Bar-Shany. “Our biggest competition is doing nothing. People can get quite comfortable with what they’re doing now. They say, ‘When is the time to move to digital?’ When I’m out of time, out of money and out of people. You have to take the risk.”
Many suppliers have great technological offerings, though. According to Bar-Shany, there needs to be an open collaboration with customers. “Great technology is not enough,” he said, emphasizing customer service, better workflow and finishing solutions, and an open platform that can source ideas from multiple avenues.
“When we started out 10-15 years ago, we didn’t have customers who had more than two or three Indigo presses,” said Bar-Shany. “Now, we have customers who have a fleet and want to move their jobs across machines and sites, so we remodeled the DFE. They need the power to RIP the files. This is the power of automation, and it’s not going to go away. People aren’t going to be willing to wait two weeks for their labels or flexible packaging.”
Bar-Shany also noted the importance of the customer in relation to Dscoop. “Dscoop has to evolve. But it has to evolve based on what the community wants, not what HP wants,” he said. “It’s not about getting subscriptions. It’s about being active and saying, ‘I want to contribute,’ and sharing and getting better ideas.”
“Our commitment to building a relationship with our customers will not change,” added Richard Bailey, president of the Americas, HP Inc. “There is no substitute for delivering a great customer experience, or building great relationships like we’re doing this week in Orlando.”
The converter/supplier relationship
The customer experience is not limited to the consumer. Converters can have positive and negative experiences with their suppliers, which can also dictate future purchasing decisions.
Tharstern’s Moore recommends creating a customer experience team, which is dedicated to the long-term goals of a converter. Moore believes it is critical to create an experience that is simple, informative and memorable by being professional, passionate and personal. Specific offerings might include: Real-time updates on jobs, effective internal communications, and customer surveys. Even simple messages, such as “Your artwork has been approved and is ready to go,” can go a long way in creating a positive experience.