Some printers schedule their presses months in advance, and there’s no flexibility. Your press time is your press time. Period. If there’s a problem with your piece, it’s up to you to fix it. Customer service seems to be an afterthought.
Fortunately, that’s not the case at McAdams Graphics. When we say we put the customer first, it isn’t just a platitude on a wall poster in the plant – it’s a core value that influences everything we do.
Nowhere is that more true than in our customer service department – the linchpin of our operations. From checking client jobs before they go on press to helping them work through incidentals in design, paper and in-line processes, our team of four experienced customer service reps go the extra mile to keep our printing clients happy.
“We’re the eyes and ears of our customers inside the plant,” explains customer service manager Jamie DiMaggio. “Our deep knowledge enables us to identify and fix any problems that may come up with a customer’s design. It’s our job to make sure the job is printed right. We go above and beyond to make sure that happens,” he adds.
McAdams’ hands-on approach has been shaped by years of proactive service and selling. Historically, much of its business came from printing huge quantities of tip-in cards for magazines. These publications have always printed on a tight production schedule. That means the McAdams customer service team got accustomed to proactively contacting publishers around the same time every month to set up the next month’s cards.
This proactive approach is now baked into the company’s culture; this mindset has served it well as it has branched out to other types of web-printed collateral.
“We’ve had customers tell us, ‘Your timing is impeccable.’ That’s how well we know their buying patterns,” DiMaggio recalls. “After a while, you develop a sixth sense for what they need and how they think. That enables us to anticipate and solve problems on their behalf,” he adds.
“Our approach, from beginning to end, is very hands on. Our customers love our personal and flexible way of doing business,” says Jeff Young, who recently transitioned into sales after 17 years as a McAdams customer service representative. He emphasized that the team goes the extra mile to accommodate customers’ extraordinary requests.
That kind of extra-mile flexibility breeds extraordinary customer loyalty, he adds.
A typical job is delivered to a shared online folder. One of McAdams’ four customer service reps reviews it against the specifications of the order and ensures that all aspects of the file are correct, including the customer’s color values, trim lines, perforations, glue panels and folds. Any corrections are made, and the rep communicates with the customer to work through any incidentals that must be made to prepare the design for printing.
Next, the rep sends a proof to the customer, showing the design, colors, perforations and folds as they will appear in the finished piece. Finally, after the customer has approved the piece to go to press, the rep writes up the job specs for the press operator and creates a folded mockup, which accompanies it to the pressroom.
“That last step is a must. It helps our web press operator to visualize exactly what the finished piece should look like,” Young explains. “That helps to prevent a lot of problems on press, and ensures that the finished piece will meet our customer’s expectations.”
Most of the jobs that run on McAdams’ state-of-the-art web press get incorporated into a larger project. For example, direct mail pieces get shipped to a mailing house, where they're inserted into envelopes. Product sheets and flyers must fit into specially-designed folders with glued pockets. Tip-in cards need to meet a magazine’s specific mechanical requirements, so they can be properly stitched into its spine.
That requires McAdams’ quartet of customer service representatives to have technical knowledge of all types of printing and mailing options.
“There’s no substitute for the dedication, attention to detail and wealth of experience our customer service team brings to the table,” points out Peter McAdams, vice president of finance. “This team comes through every day for our clients, and makes it easy for them to do business with McAdams. That’s what keeps our clients coming back,” he concludes.