11 Nov How technology and a creative approach to print creates customer value for Aura Print
In this article, Liam Smith, Director at Aura Print, shares his company’s experiences and learnings on what it takes to be a successful print service provider today and how adding customer value brings success.
Our journey at Aura Print has been a technological one, which certainly has helped make it easier for customers to do business with us. But we have also taken a singular approach to develop our product offering. Ensuring that we stand out in the market while championing what our customers want and delivering the best possible service for them.
Achieving success as a print service provider is never straightforward. But every print company can help itself by doing simple things well. Listening to its customers, investing in technology, and adding value through a creative approach to print,
How listening has enabled us to add more customer value
We decided to ask our customers about the print they buy from us and how we could make that print work better. So we implemented a customer survey about business cards because we wanted to find out how this simple piece of print – a standard product offered by so many print operators – could be made more effective. We discovered a lot of interesting things that have since shaped the value-adding service we provide today.
Learning about the importance of business cards
You’re probably thinking: “Business cards? We live in the digital age!”. And you’d be right, up to a point. For instance, our survey discovered that almost 88% of business cards are thrown away within a week. Dig a little deeper though, and the story becomes much more nuanced.
We also found that 63% of people throw a card away because they do not require the service at that point. In that case, we believe, you need to give the recipient a reason to hold onto your business card. You need to make your business cards more attractive or more interesting, such that the recipient actually likes the printed card you just gave them, and keeps it tucked away for future reference.
Why customers see value in investing in quality
Not everyone necessarily agrees with us on this, but here is a small anomaly from our survey results. Just 24% of our customers thought making their business cards stand out would increase the chances of their cards being kept. But 58% of them still choose to spend more on luxury business cards hoping their prospects will notice the extra attention to detail.
So, clearly, people still see some value in using business cards. An Adobe study has found that for every 2,000 cards handed out, a company’s sales increase by 2.5% on average. They also clearly see value in investing that little bit more to make their card stand out.
We’ve added value to every part of our business
At Aura Print, our response has been to make creative and exciting business card options a key part of our product offering. We love adding value and our business is built around it. So we look to offer more paper types and more creative options and finishes than any other print company. We don’t want to compete on price, so we go way beyond standard products.
So, for our business card offering this means thicker card stocks, coloured and shaped stocks, luxury finishes such as metallic foil, painted edges, and eco-friendly recycled stocks. All these choices are proving popular, and are helping to grow our business card print volumes. Increasing by 22% from 2020 to 2021. Average order sizes are correspondingly on the rise also as they increasingly make use of our customer value-adding features.
Investment in technology created a foundation for growth
Ricoh partnered with Aura as we have gone through this process. Providing technology as well as business development support, encouragement, and ideas. We have Ricoh Pro 7200 and 9200 engines which have been invaluable. Not just in helping us to develop our unique product offering. But also in providing the infrastructure to drive business growth. They have enabled us to transform how we go to market. Improving customer value and how they interact with us.
We are a Yorkshire firm, based in Huddersfield, but our horizons have been very much wider. North America is now our biggest market. Clearly, that doesn’t happen by accident. But as I said at the start, our journey has been fuelled by listening and adding customer value, and being creative in our approach to print.
Putting the customer in control with interactive design technology and eCommerce
Part of the technological solution that enabled us to unlock the North American market was a powerful eCommerce website with built-in, interactive design technology. This has given control to the customer and sped up the speed of delivery. If they choose, they can control the look and feel of their business cards. Allowing them to preview their design and be part of the creative process, enhancing their experience and the customer value.
Pricing for our North American and EMEA customers is all calculated online with pre-defined order cut-offs and shipping times. Now we can turn jobs around quickly. So quickly that we are able to deliver directly to our US customers quicker than their local printers.
It comes back to the fundamentals of doing smart business. Knowing what customers want and straining every sinew to make it easy for them to achieve those desires.
And along the way, we’re sprinkling a little added-value magic too!
Read the full Aura Print customer survey about business cards here.