I am sat here with only a few days until the Christmas break, our last customer training session is taking place in the room next door and we are a couple of days away from the office party. I think I say this every year but 2017 has flown by.
This year we have concentrated making things easier for our new and old customers alike to get started and to grow. At RedTie we are constantly looking at ways to bring down the barriers to entry for Web to Print, which can of course be money (we offer a range of entry points for this already), but also includes resources such as time and human resources to build and maintain the system.
Early adopters of Web to Print didn’t necessarily buy a system with a specific customer in mind, it was more that they saw the potential and wanted to start marketing it to their current and potential new customers. Under this scenario they had time to get used to the software, learn it by training, asking loads of questions and trial and error. By the time their customers saw the storefronts the people making the presentations were experts.
Things have changed though, more often than not we are contacted by printers who have a specific customer in mind, often driven by the customer themselves. Time pressure to launch is compressed and therefore so is the ability of the printer to both know what the software can do and then learn the software to actually get it up and running.
RedTie has always had people available to answer “can you do this?” and “what is the best way to do this?” type questions and we have always offered our account managers to attend meetings as our customers Web to Print experts in sales pitches and meetings with their customers. In 2017 though we wanted to tackle the second part of the time pressure a lot of new customers are under, learning the software and getting a storefront up and running quickly. It’s a simple solution, get RedTie to do that first storefront.
So we spent some time looking at what makes up the most common elements required in storefront build and then put them in an optional “starter package” for new customers. Now for a few hundred pounds a printer can have a fully functional storefront up and running in less than a week of signing up to RedTie. I’ll be honest, we do it at below cost, as we have always said we are looking for long term relationships, not short term gains. With the first site up and running it takes the pressure off and gives our new customers time to learn the software and start doing the site builds and work themselves.
There has been another change, on a smaller scale but growing steadily in recent years. Our customers are more and more wanting to outsource everything to do with Web to Print apart from selling the service to their customers and doing the print. Although we have extended what we offer, we have always made this type of outsourcing available. Now though we can listen to what our customers need, and build a bespoke package for them based on a flat monthly fee, making it easier for them to budget for. It is not only site and product builds, we can offer other services, such as design and branded online customer support to end users.
It is a simple idea, let the experts do what they do best. More often than not it is cheaper than allocating resources internally for the printer, in fact the printer can add a mark up and even make money out of outsourcing to RedTie.
Have a great break and roll on 2018!