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The Essential Customer Service Skills

(February/March 2017) posted on Tue Mar 07, 2017

Customer service can affect a client's entire experience with your shop. Does your staff have the skills to keep customers coming back again and again?


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By Marshall Atkinson

The key ingredient for many screen printing shops is their ability to win over their customers and become their true partners. Nobody does business with their enemies, but everyone loves working with friends. Long-term customers can become just like family members, with relationships that can be just as permanent.

So what’s in the secret sauce that makes these bonds so strong? It’s nothing more complicated than providing exceptional customer service. Ask yourself if your staff has these essential traits.

Are They Incredibly Prepared?
Good service means good answers. If a customer were to call and ask whether you would need to print an underbase on a light blue shirt if the overprint color is PMS 116, could your CSR tackle that query quickly and correctly? Knowing how to use your shop’s MIS system proficiently is important, but it’s not enough to be a good CSR.



A great rep can instantly decide whether a job can be produced by next Friday, determine how many colors the design may require on a dark garment, or even easily locate a tracking number for an order that shipped last week. They have to do a lot of simultaneous ball juggling. The more prepared and organized the person, the easier it is for them to help the customer with their order.

Customer service reps have one of the hardest jobs in the shop as they often find themselves between a rock (your company) and a hard place (your customers). They have to balance the needs of both. Great reps, backed up with detailed and pertinent information on both entities, can easily help manage the chaos.

Look to see how organized and prepared they are every day. Are they ready to face the challenge, or are they constantly searching for notes or even a pen to write something down? In customer service, being meticulous matters. Prepared people don’t need a lot of hand-holding.

Great reps are usually extremely self-sufficient and should be able to do their jobs without your involvement. If they can’t, it may mean they aren’t prepared, but it could also be because of something they lack, like training, information, or supplies. How often are you assessing the readiness of your CSRs?


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