A couple of weeks ago, I realized that the most excellent Social Slam conference was almost upon me, and that I would be meeting real, live flesh and blood people from social media and not just their digital shadows. That meant I needed business cards — and fast.
I had used UPrinting.com for a number of print projects in the past, so I wanted to stick with a known entity. As we were clicking our way through the order, we noticed that the print turnaround was four business days. And that didn’t even include shipping time. The reality — based on the online timetable, there was no way to have the cards in time.
We called the customer service number to see if there was anything a real person could do for us. There were two challenges really: 1) how fast could they run the die-cut cards and 2) could we get something besides overnight shipping, which was $30 more than the would-arrive-too-late two-day shipping. I was excited about the new business cards, but at some point, the cost began to surpass what could be reasonably justified.
Hero, the customer service rep was helpful. After a number of minutes hashing through what we needed and the limitations on their end, Hero went to check with a manager to see what he could make happen.
When Hero came back, he said not only could he shorten the production time so that the cards would be ready on Monday but also that UPrinting would cover the $30 difference for the overnight shipping. We would have the cards on Tuesday!
We were thrilled, right up until he said, “Can you email me the art files right now.” Uughh… I was not finished designing the cards yet, and also, we were going to need to see a proof! I don’t do print work often, and I was concerned that the resolution and formatting might be off.
I explained to Hero that I could have the art to him within a couple of hours, but that we would need a proof. This “speed bump” did not faze him in the least. He told us that he had already created the order for us and that all we needed to do is “upload the file as soon as possible and email me right after you do. I will put a rush on the job for the designers to draft the proof.”
Within two hours, we uploaded the design, received the proof (which was perfect), approved the job and paid. The shipping discount was already calculated into the order so we didn’t have to do anything but click “Approve.” UPrinting had made it as easy as possible to get our special order.
And the icing on the cake: The cards actually arrived on Friday! Essentially, UPrinting put them through production in one day and shipping in another. We were blown away!
The final product looks great. Here is a picture of one side of the card. If you want to see the other side, you have to meet me in person. 🙂
The irony of this story is that it was poor customer service that originally led me to UPrinting. I try to support local business when possible, but after multiple poor experiences a few years ago with local printers — all of whom had significantly higher prices — I finally gave UPrinting a chance. Since then, I have used the company for a number of jobs and have had great experiences in every encounter. Even on the one job I needed fixed, UPrinting did so without hesitation or extra charge.
So, what lessons can we learn from UPrinting:
In the end, UPrinting truly went above and beyond for its customer. When we called UPrinting, Hero had every right to say, “Sir, there is no way I can make the printers go any faster.” Instead, he dropped everything and went the extra mile to help out the customer and to deliver a memorable experience.
And that is is what makes a great customer service story!
PS. To our commenters, no jokes about Hero being our hero. I tried it on the phone — apparently, he’s heard that one a few zillion times before.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.