This week I had a delivery from my favourite online printer who I use for 90% of my work.
Normally their print quality is exceptional.
Particularly when you factor the price in, and that although they have offices in the UK, the main printing plant is in Germany, and the print prices they charge, include delivery to the UK . . .
. . . . and even allowing for a markup on their prices to cover my artwork and arrangement fee, they still are cheaper (on most print runs) than printers local to me.
This is a bit of a shame, as it would be great to use the services of local printers, but when most of my new clients begin the conversation with “how much for . . .? ”
Then I have to keep the price as low as I can.
A lot of us are the same of course, our expectations for a great delivery are taken for granted, and so, often the only deciding factor is price, the one thing we can take control of in our decision making.
But as I have learned in life, you do tend to get what you pay for, so if things are too cheap, watch out for the catch . . . .
. . . which is what makes me a little more forgiving in this case, because this company generally are the ones who break this rule as I have been getting fantastic service for a cracking price for a long time until this glitch.
So the printing on this job in question is rather disappointing, due to the colour finish, (much too heavy with the magenta ink) which particularly spoils the look of the main image on the design.
What makes it particularly noticeable is that this is a repeat job, and the image in question has been printed by the printer in question, previously to a perfect standard.
Comparing the original job and the new job, the difference is clear to see, and I am not prepared to submit this to my client.
That is the benefit of using a designer who offers the whole design to print package.
By getting your designer to order your print for you, they should be able to recognise when something has gone wrong, and when a printed job is substandard due to the print presses as opposed to the artwork.
The bulk of my graphic design experience has been working with print, and mostly actually within a print company, getting to grips with the reality of the process.
Not in some fancy schmancy design agency, so far removed from print that a job has to be completely re-done in order to make sure it will work OK.
I have been on the receiving end of many a design agency file that is so called print ready, to recognise the difference.
With enough knowledge and understanding of print then it is easy to be confident with a well explained complaint in the situation when something does go wrong.
My complaint has been submitted to the online printer in question – so the proof of the pudding will be in the service I receive in this situation.
One thing they do have in their favour is that they run a 24 / 7 service so when I telephoned them on Sunday afternoon, I spoke to one of their operatives who instructed me on the procedure.
My email has been answered, and my “evidence” files submitted to the correct department.
The waiting has begun, but they need to sort this quickly in order to get the job re-printed up to their usual standards.
If I get this right then my client will never need to be aware of any issues, and if he does, it will be at the – its all sorted stage.
So how is your own complaints procedure – are you ready for the time when due to circumstances, something goes wrong and whether or not it is entirely our fault, the blame lies at your feet anyway?
Can you guarantee to ” turn things around” and not lose your customer.
True service only really comes into its own in times like this. We are all only human, and while a mistake looks bad, it is all about how we handle it that is the real test.
Thanks for reading x