We have had several blogs brought to our attention over the past week regarding some issues that customers are having with our custom printed acrylic charms service, which I would like to address in this post.
Last year we received several complaints from customers who were not happy with us extending the borders on their charms to our recommended 1mm thickness. These customers stated that they preferred their charms with little to no border as they only want their characters to be visible and wanted to minimise the border of the acrylic as much as possible. They wanted their cutlines to remain how they were submitted, even though we recommended that they be increased to what we see as a more durable thickness.
As a result of this feedback we decided to change our tutorials and put full control into our customers hands, by allowing them to choose their own border thicknesses.
We publicised this change via our email newsletter and across our social media channels (Twitter & Facebook) as well as in several places on our tutorials pages. See step 6a...
After this update we started to print more charms with a much thinner border for customers, using the data that they supplied on the 'Cut Area' layer of our templates and in accordance with our tutorials.
We presumed that customers preferred these thinner borders and thought nothing of this change, thinking that customers now had greater control over this and wanted charms that had prints running closer to the edge of the acrylic.
However, it has now been brought to our attention that customers were non the wiser about us increasing their border sizes in the past (this info was in our old instructions) and they were submitting new designs thinking that they would turn out the same as designs that they had submitted prior to February 2nd when these changes were introduced.
After a Twitter exchange this week a customer pointed out to us that repeat customers, who had set up files in the past, would not necessarily click on our tutorials pages, when creating new designs, or to see if anything had changed, which is a very valid point.
As a result of the feedback that we have now received from customers regarding the thin borders on their charms we will be ammending our tutorials once more, taking this feedback into consideration.
Our charms are most durable with a 1mm border (approx 10 pixels) and we will be setting this as a standard for all future charm orders. Orders submitted with borders 1mm or thicker will not be affected by this change, but borders thinner than 1mm will be increased until they meet this minimum thickness.
We are always trying to improve our services and there will be changes from time to time, which we honestly try to do in our customers best interests.
From now on however, as well as publicising any changes on social media channels and via our e-newsletter, we will also be adding a highlighted note on any product pages that are affected by these changes, so that customers can clearly see updates when they are placing their orders.
In mid March our printers were due their annual service which was completed by an authorised technician from our printer manufacturer.
What we didn't know is that this technician altered our clear setting so that the contrast was 20% lighter.
As soon as we were made aware of this issue we checked our settings and fixed it, replacing any customers charms that were affected by this.
Although this colour change was apparent to our customers who are familiar with their chosen colours, our QC team, who are only trained to look for the following qualities, failed to spot this problem...
Our Quality Control Team look for
- Has the correct material been printed on?
- Is the charm size correct?
- Has the correct varnish finish been applied
- Is the cut line aligned correctly?
- Is the cu tline consistent?
- Is the print quality free from banding?
- Are the quantities correct?
- Are the loops / holes present?
- Are the edges free from charring / discolouration?
To prevent this from happening again in the future we have printed out a selection of charms, which we now use as a visual reference to check for any inconsistencies with colours.
We re-print these charms every morning and compare colours before processing any orders. This way we can check for any inconsistencies with our printers and their settings.
If you think that you may have been affected by this issue please email us and send us some photographs so that we can look into this for you and replace where necessary.
This has been an unfortunate and frustrating issue, which totally slipped by us. However, we now have a process in place to minimise this from happening again in the future.
Some customers are still confused about how to reflect side A of their clear double sided charms and clear single sided charms.
We tweaked the instructions for this particuar requirement to make this clearer but some confusion still remains.
After some consideration and listening to customer feedback, we think that things will be clearer if we use a design that contains text as an example for this process.
By using an image that contains text customers will be able to see more clearly, that Side A needs flipping but side B doesn't and that both sides should line up precisely.
We do try to spot errors like this when printing your charms but tight deadlines and designs that do not contain text or other references that might indicate to us that something is incorrect, means that some errors can be missed.
We would class this as a customer mistake, which would not necessarily be eligible for a free reprint so please make sure that you follow these instructions properly and email us if you are unsure, as mistakes cannot be rectified once your designs have been printed.
We operate a 30 day return policy for all of our products and services and we 100% guarantee that we WILL fix any issues that arise due to errors or mistakes as a result of any of our manufacturing processes.
We feel that 30 days is more than enough time for customers to check through their packages and let us know if anything is a miss.
We may well ask you to return the faulty products before we process your replacements or refunds, so please bear this in mind before throwing them away. We do this so that we can examine any products that are returned to us, learn from any issues and put procedures in place to try and minimise future problems.
If we do ask you to return the products and the fault is our own, we will also refund any postage costs in full or organise for our couriers to collect your items.
We can't force our customers to sign up to our newsletters or follow us on our social media accounts but we do feel that this is important if you want to stay up to date with any changes that we make.
We promise never to pass on your details to any third parties outside of Zap! Creatives and we will never spam you with unrelated information.
When we are not too rushed, we like to send out a maximum of 2 newsletters a week and approx 1 update a day on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
As well as updates and changes to our tutorials, we also regularly post discount codes and competitions, so it is worth signing up and following what we are up to.
Through customer feedback over the years, we have expanded and improved the services that we offer and continue to implement new processes to ensure that any issues are addressed and that the quality of our services continues to improve.
We have grown faster than we could have ever have anticipated, from 2 members of staff in 2008 to 13 members of staff today and with no formal business or managerial training, it has been a steep learning curve at times, with teething problems along the way.
We cannot guarantee that mistakes will not happen, both from our side of the fence and also from our customers, where files are submitted incorrectly, where machinery malfunctions, where deadlines are tight and where staff leave and new staff are trained.
What we do guarantee, however is that we will ALWAYS fix any problems that are a result of our processes and that we will ALWAYS listen to customer feedback and consider this when adding to and improving our services.
You will find some great resources on our site that will help you to use our services. But if we've overlooked something or if something doesn't seem right, we are only a phone call or email away and eager to hear your thoughts and offer our advice.
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