How do today’s retailers improve customer satisfaction while also lowering their operational costs? In an increasingly competitive environment, retailers need to look for innovative strategies to ensure they can streamline their workflows and help employees to be more productive every day. Just like other industries, retail outlets still rely on their print fleet to serve customers and ensure timely task execution.
Running a brick-and-mortar retail store in an increasingly connected world is challenging for business owners. Consumer trends have also changed, and providing an excellent customer experience for every visitor is now more important than ever before. While customer service is essential, consumers now have an abundance of options and a bad experience can have far-reaching effects. Today, 96% of consumers say that customer service influences their brand loyalty.
If a customer doesn’t feel valued and served by the staff, it’s more likely that they won’t revisit the store. It could also lead to reputational damage and reduce the company’s brand awareness. Research suggests that a customer will tell nine people about a good experience with a company, while on average, they will share a bad experience with sixteen people.
Common Pain Points with Retail Printing
Providing excellent customer service and experience depends just as much on the business solutions and technologies as it does on having friendly and helpful staff. If a system goes down, it can lead to employee frustration and disgruntled customers. This is why reliable and efficient print operations are vital to maintaining an excellent level of customer service.
It’s common for stores, especially those with multiple locations, to rely on a variety of printers, service contracts, suppliers, and vendors. Keeping track of costs and maintaining a fleet of equipment isn’t easy under these circumstances. In fact, 64% of small businesses cannot track costs, while estimates suggest printing operations can run between 5 and 15% of total expenses.
Another area where retailers may need to improve their strategies in the future is by addressing their regulatory compliance. New legislation relating to information security requires retailers to ensure they protect private customer data at all times. If the company doesn’t have a clear print management strategy in place, it could lead to a breach and open the business up to civil liabilities.
4 Managed Print Services Benefits for Retailers
Managed Print Services (MPS) is one strategy that a retailer can use to improve their operational efficiencies. With an external service provider, the company reduces the burden on its staff and provides a better service to its customers. Over the last decade, MPS solutions have become a viable method for companies to reduce costs and streamline operational workflows.
1. A Consistent Budget for All Printing Operations
Before entering into an agreement with an MPS company, the service provider will assess the current fleet of devices and print volumes throughout the organization. Based on this assessment, the MPS Company can establish a consistent budget for maintaining the fleet of printers and provide ink, toner, and paper supplies. With a monthly budget for all printing related costs, the company can provide accurate annual forecasts and reduce the probability of having to spend money on replacing or repairing equipment.
2. Improved and Upgraded Technology
Older devices are prone to failures. By adopting an MPS model, the retailer gets access to newer devices such as Multifunction Printers (MFPs). The MPS Company will review the current print fleet and recommend where the company can save more money by reducing the number of devices required and use modern MFPs that require less electricity and ink during operation. With a modern, efficient print fleet, the company can reduce bottlenecks in their workflows and ensure their devices operate reliably.
3. Enhanced Device Security
Hackers now target printers to deploy exploits into company networks. An MPS Company will monitor all devices remotely and ensure they receive the necessary security updates as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) makes them available. Modern MFPs have improved security features that can help retailers remain compliant with the latest information security requirements.
4. Greater Oversight and Control
One of the most significant benefits that come from MPS is the oversight and control companies gain. With an MPS solution, the company can track all print operations and ensure they eliminate wasteful practices. It will help the company reduce its overall printing costs while also allowing them to establish specific print policies for users, departments, or devices.
Blue Technologies can Help Ohio Retailers Improve Customer Service and Printing Operations
For retailers in Ohio that need to improve their operations and reign in runaway printing costs, Blue Technologies can help. Since 1995, Blue Technologies have worked with businesses in Ohio to leverage the latest technologies for improved operational efficiency. Blue technologies provide a variety of managed services and business solutions. With a team of experts who are committed to service excellence, Blue Technologies can help retailers improve their daily workflows and reduce the costs associated with printing operations.
To improve the customer service in your Ohio retail business, speak to Blue Technologies about our Managed Print Services and productivity solutions today.