Printwear

March '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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3 4 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 2 0 La Tonna "Ms. Tee" Roberson / Owner T-SHIRT SHOP DALLAS / EST. 2000 What's one piece of advice you wish you heard a long time ago? I wish someone told me it was OK if every customer was not my customer. The more customers, the more money I would make, right? Boy, was I wrong! Once I found my target customer, my business grew tremendously. My company now works smarter, not harder, and we do not compete with pricing. Instead, we compete by providing excellence. Aside from price and turnaround time, how can shop owners provide an ex- traordinary customer experience? Shops can enhance the customer experience by identifying the customer's needs, providing solutions, and keeping an open line of communication throughout the entire ordering process. Every customer is unique. You must ask the customer questions such as what type of event they are having, and when and where the garments will be worn. What's the best trait a shop can have, and why? The best trait any shop can have is integrity. When you accept a job, your customer trusts you can provide them with the service you promised and when you do not deliver the trust that is lost can rarely be replaced. That customer will be lost forever. One bad review can destroy your chance of servicing thousands of potential customers. If a shop cannot meet a deadline or provide a service, it is best to be upfront with the customer, thank them for considering you, and ask them to reach out to you in the future on other jobs. Pilar Harrison / Owner/President PIL CUSTOMS / EST. 2018 What's one piece of advice you wish you heard a long time ago? Outsource. As a craftsman, I tried to tackle every aspect of this business myself. It's all well and good to take pride in our work, and we want to be sure we are producing quality items, but it's time-consuming to handle every aspect of every order. It's better to earn money for clicking a button on my computer, sending work to other companies that I have come to know and trust, rather than trying to produce everything in-house. The other benefit to this, we as business owners no longer have to turn down jobs just because we don't own an embroidery machine or a laser. Added perk: you're helping to support another business. Aside from price and turnaround time, how can shop owners provide an ex- traordinary customer experience? Customer service is key. One thing I like to do is really listen to my customers. Try to anticipate what they're needing or looking for. Another aspect of customer service is taking care of problems as they arise. Sometimes it's an issue with shipping or something on our end. Other times, the customer made an error, and it's up to us to work with them to fix things. It's not always easy, but it's something I strive for as I'd like my customers to feel as if they are the most important customer I have. What's the best trait a shop can have, and why? Honesty and integrity are two of the most important traits a company can have. Mistakes can happen, or a customer has unrealistic expectations for an order. As long as you're honest and tell them what happened, and how you'll fix it, or why something can't be done, people are very understanding, and they'll trust you and your company.

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