A New Attitude
Web-to-print (W2P) technology has been a hot-button topic since its inception approximately 15 years ago. Some wondered if it limited flexibility, while others worried how it would influence the value and personal relationships they built with their clients. Could this potential threat signify the death of the salesman?
It's now 2012 and, for the most part, W2P has been stripped of its hot-button status—now, it's just a hot topic. Of course, for certain products, it has reduced time spent in estimating, order entry and status checks. Customers only may be interested in logging into a system, clicking a few buttons to place an order and logging out. By now, printers know that automation also is a hot topic. However, this provides an excellent opportunity for salespeople and customer service representatives (CSRs) looking to reinvent their value.
Greenville, South Carolina-based GROWLL.com's entire existence is based on working with customers in nontraditional workflows. In operation for nearly a decade, the company is an Internet-based print solution that offers wholesale pricing strictly to print resellers. In addition to e-mail and chat, GROWLL has CSRs available to its clients, which is crucial for dealing with the unexpected (e.g., last-minute changes or edits).
W2P has proven to be anything but detrimental to GROWLL's ability to maintain that human connection. According to Matthew Jay, business development director at GROWLL, the company's membership development associates will walk customers through their first order. CSRs are available to help with the specifics surrounding artwork, order status and delivery instructions. "At GROWLL, we get it," Jay said.
Similar to the GROWLL staff, other companies can use the sophisticated nature of the technology and workflow to create a dialog with potential and existing customers. First, it is important to understand what the term "web-to-print" means, since it carries different definitions depending on whom you ask.