Paula Blackwell Mitchell, Director , UAB Printing and Mailing Services, Birmingham, AL

Quick Read

“We have gained better insights from customers which has helped us make better business decisions. We’ve also learned how to use customer feedback to build new products and services to meet customers’ needs and to solve their problems. I like the customer dashboard the most. It gives us the tools and resources we need to know exactly how we are doing. It is also very user friendly!”

The Challenge

As an In-Plant you would expect that most university staff would try to give Printing and Mailing Services all the business they could, but that is not the case. They have options; capabilities, fast turnaround, product quality and great customer service are needed to keep staff coming back. Printing and Mailing Services needs to remain competitive and keep the pulse on how they are perceived by their university customers. They know they are only as good as their last job. If Printing and Mailing Services could thrill all their customers they would be in the best position to receive all the business. Prior to June, 2010 UAB Printing and Mailing Services did not have a customer feedback process that was efficient or effective. They were receiving very little feedback after jobs were completed. They needed a solution that was affordable, required minimal administration, generated high response rates with meaningful information, and easy to

The Solution

In early 2010 Printing and Mailing Services reached out to Survey Advantage to discuss their goals. There goals were to:

  • Leverage EFI Monarch/Hagan invoice/shipping data to implement a timely feedback process.
  • Not annoy regular customers with too much surveying causing survey fatigue.
  • Achieve high response rates
  • Administration of the process would be less than a minute a month would be ideal.
  • Leverage the email addresses of buyers to streamline the feedback process, administration, and costs.
  • Implement a solution that was less than $100/ month and under $50/month
  • Implement a process that was personal, inviting, and very professional as seen by their customers.

After conducting a 15 minute one on one webinar with Survey Advantage they learned what other in-plants were doing, reviewed real results and processes and all the requirements were met. The EFI Monarch report would be delivered to Survey Advantage on a schedule. Survey Advantage would scrub the raw file, send out a personal email with Paula’s signature and invitation along with the survey link, collect the data, and deliver dashboard report and poor survey alerts via email as responses were returned. The report dashboard was real-time giving complete visibility to current performance on the most recent jobs completed. The running of the report took less than a minute a month and Survey Advantage managed everything.

The Results

The first few months of launching revealed several areas for improvement and the most important question “How likely are you to recommend Printing and Mailing Services to colleagues and friends?” revealed that between 78% and 80% of customers were “very likely” to recommend. While that is about average for the printing industry, the team wanted to move that metric as close to 100% as possible. With an ongoing monitoring process and alert process they were able to respond immediately to dissatisfied customers, quickly review comments for improvement, and continually improve their performance. Over the next 5 years the metric slowly moved up to first 85%, then 88% and finally for the first time in Q2, 2015 they achieved the top score of all printers using the service which includes commercial, quick printers, and other in-Plants; over 700 in all. In Q2, 2015 UAB Printing and Mailing Services received an award for achieving the top score, 98% customers stating they would be “Very Likely” to recommend Printing and Mailing Services.

Paula shared best practices she has implemented to drive up the loyalty scores and retention.

  • Negative responses are distributed during our manager meetings. Each negative response is discussed with the team and then researched by the respective manager. Once the research is complete and discussed with the director; the director calls the customers to discuss the issue, customer concerns, and ways to improve on future orders.
  • Both negative and positive responses are posted on information boards we have in our breakroom. Positive responses are sure to make an employee smile. I truly believe that when you have happy employees, you have happy customers! All negative responses are shared to ensure that we learn from our mistakes and to ensure that customer or no other customer encounters a similar experience.
  • We pride ourselves in keeping our promises and integrity. Turnaround time and due dates are at the top of our customer priority list. Whatever we say we can do, we make it our business to get it done!
  • Run a monthly report that we call our “Outside Vendor Report” that lists all print jobs that are outsourced throughout the university. We follow up on all jobs that could have be printed
    internally through our shop to see if in the future we could be given the opportunity capture the business.
  • Monitor the items coming out on the “Outside Vendor Report”. If there’s something listed that we do not currently offer with continuous/substantial revenue we always consider adding that service to the shop to keep the business internal.
  • Focus more on retaining our current customers than acquiring new ones, by making sure each and every experience is a positive one and treating EVERY customer the same.
  • Populate the testimonial tab on our website and we also post testimonials on our website banner. We also use social media as a customer support channel.
  • Maintain our 30%+ response rate by just simply listening to our customers by reducing the frequency of the surveys so that customers doesn’t get survey fatigued. We also act
    immediately on all replies that require a response. If a customer invested their time in the survey we want to make sure they do not feel ignored.
  • Immediately respond to these alerts. These responses are noted in our tracking system so when the next order is placed we ensure we do not make the same mistake twice. 99% of the time we are given another chance to get it right.
  • Each employee is required to understand the expectations and requirements of each customer they encounter. The customers’ experience should always be their main focus. We always make it our business to thank each customer for their business