There are many questions that can arise relating to printing inks. Nazdar, a manufacturer of one of the most comprehensive selections of UV, water-based and solvent-based wide-format digital inkjet, screen-printing and flexographic inks, has pre-empted many of these queries with its ‘Ink Answers’ campaign.
Bruce Ridge, Director of Technical Service at Nazdar, explains: “There were two primary goals when we created the Ink Answers service. Firstly, we wanted to be able to provide complete, accurate and traceable recommendations on our products; and secondly, we wanted to engage all of our technical people in the process in order to reduce our response times and make better use of our broad knowledge base.”
Since its creation, the Ink Answers email address has been widely promoted by Nazdar. Courtesy of the campaign, Nazdar’s technical team currently receives and responds to more than 3000 emails per annum.
Bruce Ridge continues: “The key to our success is simple. Each email sent to the Ink Answers email address goes to 25 people within our technical department. We work on the basis that no one knows everything, but collectively we will have the answer to almost every question posed. The best equipped person to deal with the query will handle it. It has proven to be a very efficient way of providing written product and application information – including attachments such as data sheets where they might be of use – to those that need it, in a very timely manner.”
Questions come in globally from a number of sources: distributors, Nazdar’s field sales teams and end-user customers. Mostly they relate to fairly straightforward topics such as which inks are best for which applications, how end-users can optimise print performance, where they can buy the inks, who can help them with ink issues, and regulatory questions regarding the safety and disposal of inks. At present, responses from Nazdar’s head office are sent in either English or Spanish; questions requiring responses in other languages – such as Chinese – are forwarded to Nazdar’s local representatives for handling.
Many of the answers to these questions can be found on Nazdar’s FAQ site (http://www.nazdar.com/FAQ.asp), so it is often simply a case of referring the customer to the relevant documentation online. However, in approximately 20% of cases, the customer will require a much more detailed response to a highly technical question; this is where Nazdar’s ink experts step in and will send a comprehensive answer to even the most complex of queries.
Alongside these highly technical questions are some rather more unusual queries. Bruce Ridge explains: “You couldn’t possibly predict some of the questions we get asked. ‘Can your ink withstand a nuclear blast?’, ‘How long will it last on a submarine?’, and ‘Do you make tattoo inks?’ feature alongside a plethora of questions relating to food packaging applications. Other slightly more leftfield questions that we’ve responded to include: ‘Do you make ink that can be scratched off?’, ‘Do you make glow-in-the dark ink?’ and ‘Do you make an ink that sticks to Teflon?’!”
Overall, the campaign has been a great success for Nazdar, its distributors, its internal salesforce and – most importantly – its end-user customers. Internally, it helps Nazdar’s travelling salesforce and technical team to access complete responses to queries – quickly – whilst they are on the road and at customer premises. Externally, both distributors and end-users have confirmed that they embrace the Ink Answers scheme as it fits so well into their busy schedules and enables them to access the answers and information they need in a simple, straightforward and time-efficient manner.
Bruce Ridge concludes: “The Ink Answers service is both convenient and efficient and is regularly used by both internal and external sources. If you’ve got an ink question, Nazdar has the ink answer!”
For more information on Nazdar, please visit www.nazdar.com