There are some simple things we do to try to let our customers know that a team of really nice, really knowledgeable, real people are waiting to help them with their orders. We publish our toll free number on every page of the website, we pick up the phones all day long, we hire more people if our customers are spending more time on hold, we offer new ways to interact with us like Live Chat and email, and most importantly, we get in touch with you.
We look for opportunities to call a customer, write a hand written thank you card and follow-up quickly on every single interaction even before a visitor makes a purchase. And through it all, we use technology to automate as much of our human powered order processing as possible so we still offer fastest turnaround times. It’s about common courtesy and the faith that by treating people the way everyone deserves to be treated, good karma will come our way.
Internally, we track a score called Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure our service level. It’s a simple concept that asks customers whether they are likely to recommend the company to their friends based on their shopping experiences. Some companies have negative scores (think big banks and airlines), but some of the best companies in the world score in the 60s with outstanding scores held by your favorite retail brands ranking up in the 70s. We track our NPS for both first time customers and returning customers. For the former we score consistently in the low 80s. For the latter, we range from the high 80s to low 90s. We track this weekly. It’s a life or death matter at Tiny Prints because we know that the entire customer experience starts with people.
We fill our offices with great people who truly care about the customer, who empathize and relate to the person struggling to finish a project or looking for more information and who are simply happy to talk. These are our stationer specialists and professional designers. We don’t call them call center reps because they do so much more than just answer phones.
To stay true to our standards, we screen carefully for every position in the company. Even if you never get an opportunity to interact live with a customer because you build software at Tiny Prints, you should want to and embrace the opportunity to do so.
And they do get the opportunity to talk to customers—every single person who works at Tiny Prints goes through new hire training in our customer management team for their first week. They follow the same schedules, have the same breaks, talk to real customers and learn how to work with photos and typography.
I also personally interact with customers every single day. Customers get an email from my email address when they place an order, and I ask for their feedback. I love it. And during certain busy times of the year, we all look forward to putting our training to use by helping to answer the phones, check emails, pick up live chats, pack boxes and even hand deliver a local order when necessary.
Over the last few years, Tiny Prints has taught me that great customer service starts not with our definition of what great customer service is, but with the customer’s own definition. There will never be one practice that fits for all of a company’s different products and services, so we must listen to the customers of each and every product and service and build our service experience for each of those customers.