BAPC BULLETIN APRIL 2019
Spring has sprung and we look forward to a great summer. The industry is full of confidence despite the political situation which hopefully will not interfere too much with our commercial activities.
This seems to be a time of praise, the BAPC is delighted at the positive response from members on the update to our web site and all are invited to comment and make suggestions to ensure further improvements. In addition, both the BAPC and the IPIA have been praised by almost every facet of the industry on the decision to work together on a number of events which hopefully will clear some of the diary conflicts. which occur throughout the year. This may also be an encouragement to some print companies to work together on various projects.
Hopefully, you will find this issue of Bulletin of interest and if you have a blog, article you would like included in the next issue simply forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue:-
• Message from Mike
• Business news
• Print Futures awards
• Tips from Nigel
• Print, Design and Marketing awards
• Innovation Excellence awards
• Looking forward
Message from Mike
Get it “right” by getting it “write”!
Being in daily contact with print businesses from around the country the BAPC has sight of marketing and promotional literature that our members produce. In fairness most of the items that comes across our desks are certainly well designed and printed to the very highest standard. However, where there is often a let down is in the actual words selected. The grammar and spelling are not to be criticised, but the effectiveness of the text often leaves a lot to be desired.
The use of the most appropriate words and phrases can certainly change the reader’s perception and by effective communications the items can hit the mark. Often when this subject is raised with particular businesses, they are reticent to use professional copywriters possibly because of their doubts about cost.
We took some time out and had a word with Annie Hotton, one of the industry’s most experienced and respected copywriters and asked her why companies should make a modest investment in copywriting from their hard-earned funds. We asked her if good copywriting was as expensive as one would think and she joked, ‘Well of course its no more expensive than bad copywriting.’
Here’s Annie’s reply: “For companies looking to raise their profile, I believe they need to work on finding and creating a unique identity. Having the support of an experienced copywriter is more important than ever. How to market yourself online is a real challenge. Potential customers using their digital devices such as smart phones and tablets with apps, have to hand thousands of different companies all appearing to sell similar products. So what makes one company stand out from another? How do they gain respect and trust in the marketplace? How does a potential customer make choices? Its all about perception!
My fascination and love of words goes back to my childhood. Hands up – I’m a print geek and my home library is my favourite space. I have built a career on word selection. Helping a company select the right words to represent their business means digging deep to find out their uniqueness. Today, words like ‘best quality’ ‘best customer service’ are overused. A company can have an amazing product portfolio but its how they talk about it that can make the difference. Helping them find the right words to reach their target audience is a key part of the process.”
There are of course a number of professional copywriters experienced in working with our sector, but if you do want to discuss matters with Annie she can be contacted at email@example.com
Mike Moradian is BAPC Deputy Chairman and CEO of Print Express, London
April tax changes 2019
Almost everyone will be affected by the new tax changes. The following is a brief synopsis of some of the amendments. To discuss any of the issues mentioned it is recommended that you consult with your professional advisors.
• The National Living Wage is going up to £8.21 an hour
• Personal Allowances increased to £12,500
• Small retailers will be entitled to business rates relief -Small retailers will get one third off their rates bills.
• Universal Credit work allowance is increasing by an extra £1,000 per year.
• New Enterprise Allowance has been extended
Final opportunity to apply for a Print Futures Award
The Print Futures Awards are grants of up to £1,500 open to UK residents aged 18 to 30 years to support workplace skills in the UK printing, paper, publishing, packaging, and graphic arts sector.
We would love to hear from your eligible students, apprentices and staff for whom personal and professional training would be of value. Things we will consider applications for include relevant training courses, professional accreditation, and kit and equipment where it is beneficial to applicants’ studies, training, and development. These awards are for those people who have a clear idea of the career path they want to take/are taking in the sector.
This is a fantastic opportunity for young people entering the industry.
Applications are invited at www.theprintingcharity.org.uk/print-futures-awards.
Closing date for entries is 29 April 2019
Tips from Nigel
Make customer service your differentiator
Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of every successful business. But it’s especially important for SMEs who lack the size, budget and market dominance enjoyed by corporates. For most of us, getting customer service right is fundamental. And there are three key factors to consider if you want to improve performance in this area:
Total service experience
Providing service with passion
Dealing with challenging customers
In an increasingly competitive world, good service is a prerequisite, not a ‘nice to have’. But you can still achieve brand differentiation via a total service experience.
Competitors might supply the same products at similar prices. They may even copy your marketing and promotional offers – thus providing the same baseline service. However, what they cannot do is emulate the personal touches that represent what your business stands for. If you can find ways to consistently go beyond customers’ expectations, you’re on to a winner.
To do this, you first need to establish the highest level of expectation and make that the benchmark. Put yourself in the position of the customer and ask yourself what they want and need to make their life easier or improve business performance…
To start with I’d want to be listened to: this enquiry is important to me – so I need to know that you understand the details of what I’m after.
When you know what I want, I need you to take responsibility and find a solution to my problem. After all, I came to you because you are the expert.
Please remember all the details – don’t rush the process and let me down because you only remember 95% of what I’ve said.
Finally, don’t forget that I am spending my hard-earned money for this service. You’re working for me, not doing me a favour.
Providing total service experience is about taking an interest, listening to the customer and going the extra mile.
But you do need more than that. You also need to provide service with a passion.
Customers are human beings and respond to body language, tone of voice and attitude. If you proffer negativity to the customer, you will get it back in spades.
A ‘cup half-full’ attitude is so much more productive. When developing relationships with customers we’re looking to create a positive attitude and embed it in all interactions.
Customers are only human after all. We all like to feel wanted, important, valued, loved and understood. The easiest way to start showing this is to simply listen to the customer.
If you are sitting 1-2-1 then use positive body language.
If you are on the phone, then regularly interject.
Don’t allow the customer a monologue – ask questions, show interest.
Reiterate what the customer tells you. It shows you have been listening and that you are engaged.
Of course, with most customers, providing really good service becomes second nature. Their expectations are generally lower than you’d expect, so the net result is ‘customer positive’.
The real test though comes when you have challenging customers.
They might be emotional, frustrated, closed to reason and rarely respond to logic. However, they need to be handled professionally, and the way you deal with them can have a major effect on your business.
If it goes badly, then you could be exposed to bad publicity, through online reviews and negative social media comments.
My advice is to have a process for these types of customers. You will gain little by becoming as emotive, protective and closed to reason as they are. Instead, I recommend the following six steps:
Stay calm – confrontation is a loser
Allow the customer to vent – listen; don’t interrupt; wait for a pause.
Acknowledge their anger
Repeat their position (shows empathy)
Identify the ‘real’ problem
Be positive in communication to the customer
‘I will’ rather than ‘I don’t know’ can’ not ‘can’t’
‘I understand’ is better than ’you should have…’
Be firm but fair – don’t allow them to be abusive
Buy time and respect
Show the customer that you are taking the problem seriously
Tell them you will investigate thoroughly/escalate
Give them a time/date when you expect to get back to them.
Delivering exceptional service requires a total service ethos, to be delivered with passion and with a structure/process to handle difficult and challenging customers. If you keep these three factors front of mind, you’ll find that good customers become repeat customers, and you might even convert challenging customers to valued customers.
Nigel Toplis is CEO of The Bardon Group
Print, Design & Marketing Awards
The awards which focus on quality, creativity and innovation in print production and design. Entry could not be simpler -visit https://www.pdmawards.co.uk/for entry forms and to purchase tickets for this outstanding event which will take place on the 20th June 2019 aboard the Silver Sturgeon.
Innovation Excellence Awards
The Stationers’ Company is making a final call for entries to its 2019 Innovation Excellence Awards that celebrate the contribution the UK Communications and Content Industries make to the UK economy.
The closing date for entries to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org is 5 April 2019. For details and entry forms, please see https://bit.ly/2DSsUxz
Companies, trade associations, charities, individuals, educational institutions and public bodies, including museums, libraries, galleries and archives are invited to enter their designs of novel products, services or business processes.
Entries will be evaluated on the novelty of the innovation, their economic performance or economic potential, and overall social impact in the UK by this year’s judging pane·
David Allan (Master of the Stationers’ Company), Chairman, Ian Allan Publishing
Vida Barr-Jones, MD, Focus 7 International Ltd
Peter Day, former BBC Business Correspondent
Helen Esmonde (Past Master of the Stationers’ Company), Publishing Director, Esmonde Publishing
Jonathan Kingsbury, Head of Digital Economy & Creative Industries at Knowledge Transfer Network/Innovate UK
Tim Webb, former CEO of PICON
Nick Mockett, Head of Packaging Mergers and Acquisitions, Moorgate Capital
Kit Van Tulleken, Principal, Strategic Adviser, Publishing and Data companies M&A, Kit van Tulleken LLP
Jill Jones, former CEO Cengage Learning EMEA and MD, McGraw Hill Education EMEA
Chair of the Stationers’ Company Innovation Excellence Awards, Jill Jones, says: “These annual Awards, which are free to enter, are not only a fantastic opportunity for entrants from small and large organisations to gain valuable publicity for their achievements, but also demonstrate the innovation and creativity across a diverse range of business sectors.”
Winners of this year’s Awards, which are kindly sponsored by Mathys & Squire, intellectual property attorneys, and PICON, the Printing Industry Confederation, will be announced at an Awards luncheon and exhibition of selected entries at Stationers’ Hall, London, on 25th June 2019.
Date – 2nd-4th April 2019
Event – Sign & Digital UK 2019
Venue – NEC, Birmingham
Details – www.signanddigitaluk.com
Date – 9th May 2019
Event – IPIA Spring Conference
Venue – Hinckley LE10 1YG
Details – E-mail email@example.com
Date – 7th June 2019
Event – IPIA Spring Networking Lunch
Details – E-mail Brendan @ipia.org.uk
Date – 20th June 2019
Event – Print, Design & Marketing Awards
Venue – Silver Sturgeon (Westminster Pier)
Details – www.pdmawards.co.uk
Date – 25th June 2019
Event – Innovation Excellence Awards
Venue – Stationers’ Hall, London
Details – www.stationers.org
Date – 2nd October
Event – IPIA Autumn Conference
Details – E-mail Brendan @ipia.org.uk
Date – 5th November 2019
Event – Power of Print Conference
Venue – Stationers’ Hall, London
Details – www.twosides.info
Date – 12th November 2019
Event – Solutions Awards
Venue – Cafe de Paris, London
Date – 14th November 2019
Event – The Printing Charity Annual Luncheon
Venue – Stationers’ Hall, London
Details – E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to submit any relevant article, or opinion for publication in Bulletin. Items should be sent to email@example.com
In this issue a number of awards have been featured, the BAPC makes no apologies for their inclusion as, other than high profits for a business there are few more satisfying matters than being truly recognised for quality and standards
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