Customer demands

For the past few weeks, every job I get the customer start texting all day asking when they would get the job.

Got two jobs on Thursday and all day they text where my job.

I told them I do it over night!

And when tell them the press is down and the repairman will have running soon.

It means nothing to them.

Just got a text on a color envelopes that they just gave the job Thursday night.

Log in to reply   15 replies so far

Aaron!! It seems like you are spinning out of control. I think you should RELAX and take a deep breath and go “ohmmmmmmmm”
Seriously, just relax, do your printing and only look at emails, texts a couple times a day. Communicate and be honest with your customers. If they don’t like it, you can tell them to go somewhere else and if they don’t like that response, you can tell them to go jump in the lake.

I agree with Dennis. As much as I know you want to build your customer base and also keep your customers happy you need you have a backbone or they will walk all over you and make life miserable…..kinda like most of your posts sound regarding your customers and jobs they want/expect.

Put the phone down and stop texting customers and concentrate on getting work done! Email or call customers only and it should only be done from a business line not your personal cell number. You gave them direct access to you by giving out your cell number and now you are paying the price!

Explain to your customer the more they keep interrupting you the longer it will take to get to working on their job as you have other commitments and dead lines you are working on as well that need to get finished before their job.

Only check emails when you have the time and concentrate on producing work. The customer needs to understand you are a very small operation and if they don’t like that and or can’t relate to you then this is a customer you don’t need. Do your best to keep the customer happy, but you need to have boundaries that the customer doesn’t cross either and that’s telling you how to run your business.

Hopefully/eventually you will be able to weed out the good from the bad and by this I mean the customer who Always has a rush job and never gives you any time or warning about it and expect the world from you every time. Most customers have these jobs but there are the ones like I described that always want you to save their bacon cause they dropped the ball or always wait to the last minute to get you the job cause they Know that you will get it done for them…..and they are the ones who do not appreciate you….they just use you!

Good Luck!

And, guess what after getting the email at 7 p.m. last night where my order for two color envelopes for two locations?
I got a email stating they gave the wrong address for one of the locations.

My favorite line from Parks and Rec, possibly relevant here: “Look, if you didn’t want to be on call 24/7 for emergencies, then you should not have entered the high stakes world of banner making.”

It’s up to you to set the specific boundaries and policies of your business _before_ you take an order. Assume the customer will take and and feel entitled to everything they can get. It’s not their fault. It’s your fault because you did not specify the terms to set their expectations.

Draft a document of your policies and make sure it is agreed upon before beginning work. That’s good for you and your customer, because the terms of your relationship will be clearly defined. There is no mystery.

And definitely make a spreadsheet to calculate your fixed and variable costs to make sure that your project bids will actually be profitable. I would rather nap than donate my production time due to bad math.

Tell them you do not respond to texting.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

What I need to do before giving a quote, is ask what your deadline for this job.

If they need the job frame I know I can’t fill, I just tell them, thank you contacting me, but, I can’t fill your request to my work load.

More than that, they need to understand that ANY change in copy or specifications from the original estimate results in a revised estimate and turnaround time.
That is long-standing industry practice.

wth r u doing txtng cstmrs anyhw- is a waste of time

Email only

This is what happens when hot metal meets the twitter generation though, I just can’t see it getting any easier for the folks going forward either…

Hot metal meets Twitter? Hell it’s everything running against push button/app fulfillment. It’s not going away either.

Might be a good point to discuss how to educate and deal with customers who seem to have less and less time to devote to understanding printing, or how to order it. Texting might be a solution, if properly employed, maybe.

Michael Seitz
Quality Letterpress Printing
Missoula, Montana

One of the things my customers joke with me about is…. “When am I going to put in a drive through window”?


I have to say that USED to be the case. Printing seems to be one of the few industries where a customer can ask for a price on a project, then send in something significantly different and completely expect to hold the manufacture to the original price.

I see it happen every day in the commercial offset shops I’ve worked in over the years.

Customer’s only know one thing, I want my job NOW, and I want it cheap!

While closing down my letterpress shop and replacing my equipment with Offset equipment, two seller on ebay took my money and ran.

So, it put me about month behind. I would tell people about the reason I was behind on their jobs, but their didn’t hear one word I said.

One customer pushed me to point I took the job to another printer and paid his retail price. Only to hear from the customer that was on my back, I am going out of town be back in a week or so.

Printing is the only industry that the customer wanted the day before they gave you the work, and they want it cheap.

I tell all of my customers a minimum time frame for all jobs. If they need it faster, they pay for it. If they can’t work within that timeframe, they can go elsewhere. I gather you’re moving away from letterpress, but jobs still take time, and you have to be in charge, not the customers.

And definitely do not text with customers. I tell all my clients (on the design side of my business and printing side) that I do not text unless there’s some absolute necessity. Email or phone calls. If you act professional, they will treat you similarly. Again, if they don’t, move on. Life’s too short for lousy customers.

Lastly, it should go without saying, but don’t take a job if you can’t make a profit. Period.

Printing Trade Customs still exist, if one bothers to learn them and express them to clients, and can be found online easily. There are some variations but three sections are to the point here, from the PIA version:

A quotation not accepted within 30 days may be changed.

Quotations are based on the accuracy of the specifications provided. The provider can re-quote a job at time of submission if copy, film, disks, or other input materials don’t conform to the information on which the original quotation was based.

Customer alterations include all work performed in addition to the original specifications. All such work will be charged at the provider’s current rate.

These are completely reasonable conditions.