Say goodbye to ‘ME’ and hello to ‘WE’

This article was authored by Print Media Centr’s Deborah Corn and first appeared in the Nov 2021 issue of Australian Printer

The only thing I am more over hearing about than COVID is YOU, service providers. Sure, there was two years of lockdowns and getting populations vaccinated. Yes, all of that caused issues with supply chains, workforce and knowing where remote working customers were. And yeah, in the absence of business being conducted the way it has in the past, staying in mailboxes and inboxes and voicemail boxes was critical to keep connection. Out of sight is out of mind during a global pandemic, and especially after.

Now that we are moving towards a post-COVID light in the tunnel, focusing on maintaining customers is even more important than finding new ones. I’d like to suggest that the underlying subtext for all your customer communications in 2022 is WE focused, and not ME focused.

COVID and me

Your company may have spent the last two years sharing how it can help customers amidst the evolving COVID obstacles. Your company may have spent time communicating about new or updated processes and procedures for placing orders, and products and services developed during COVID such as safety graphics. Your company may have been sharing how it helped the community and gave back to first-line workers.

That is critical and positive communication no doubt, but with the common theme of being about you. It’s now time to flip the script and make your customer communications and mission about ‘we’ and plant your messaging stake in the ground.

Ready to help you return to business

Who is that subject line about? Better question, who will your customers and prospects think that subject line is about?

Focus your messaging on collaboration

Help don’t sell – start booking strategic planning meetings to understand the 2022 business goals of customers and prospects. Take notes, meet with your team to devise a strategy, and then book a meeting to reveal all the ways you can help with a menu of services and options.

‘We’ applies to file creation. Find a designer to help you help your customers and prospects create custom artwork. Find a designer to help create templates that can be repurposed again and again.

‘We’ applies to ease and installation. Think about creating user-friendly online portals for customers to order materials. If there is an opportunity for signage switch outs (think seasons and florists) create a subscription program that includes new graphics each quarter and hanging them.

‘We’ applies to ordering preferences. More people online buying things in one-click, whenever they want from wherever they are. Make as much of your offering that easy to purchase.

‘We’ applies to timely communications. You may want to share the latest testimonial about… you know YOU, and hope that your email list doesn’t opt-out, or you may want to rethink your strategy and focus on information your customers and prospects need to keep them opening your emails.

Think about setting turn-around expectations to avoid missing dates due to supply chain issues. Help them prepare for any postal increases and service interruptions like we have going on in the states by using the strategic planning meeting to map out mailings for the year.

‘We’ applies to anything and everything that makes YOU part of the customers’ ‘US’.

Please take the concept, tweak, and apply it as needed. As you learn, adjust.

Which verticals generate the best business results for you? How can you make your success repeatable in additional verticals that share similar printing needs? What products and services are most popular? How much of that can be automated from ordering to delivery?

Making it about ‘WE’ just may be the best thing you do for your business in 2022.

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