7 Golden Rules To Managing Client Expectations
1. Set Realistic Expectations For Both Parties
Be upfront and honest! Yes, that’s the ideal thing to do whether you are having your first meeting or even at a later stage. The businessperson in you might want to go all out and impress a potential client by showcasing your services and promoting your business, and even though that’s great, make sure you give your potential clients a clear picture about these things as that will help set realistic expectations. Why leave room for last-minute surprises? So, display the work that you can create again. Explain pricing and discounts, talk about deliverables and the turnaround time, and also walk your clients through the contract. And to understand what they are expecting out of you, ask questions.
2. Underpromise, Overdeliver
Imagine your bride’s excitement when she receives her wedding pictures a week before the promised date! Or how about the look of surprise and gratitude on your couple’s faces when they realize that you added a few more services without charging them for those? After all, who doesn’t love getting a little bit more than what was promised? And therefore, when you tell your clients about what they can expect from your services, we suggest you keep your offerings a notch lower than what you can actually deliver. For example, if you’ve been booked for 6 hours, inform your clients that you don’t usually stretch timelines. However, if possible, on the day of the shoot stay back a little longer and take a few more complimentary photos of your couple and their guests. You could also send them anniversary greetings or give a shout-out to them on social media. What’s in it for you? Happy customers, for sure. And maybe a few client referrals too!
3. Anticipate Your Client’s Expectations
The art of foreseeing your clients’ expectations may take some experience and practice to master, but you could start by thinking from your couple’s point of view. Ask yourself what you’d do in a particular situation if you were the client. Chalk out a plan to evaluate if you can meet those needs. If the deliverables don’t suit your pricing or budget, look for other ways to work around them. And soon enough, you’d be in a position to anticipate your client’s needs and plug a demand gap even before they have realized it.
4. Ensure Constant Communication
When it comes to managing customer expectations, communication is the key. Right from the time a bride drops her first email to you or fills up the contact form on your website down to the wedding day and even as the final product is delivered, it’s important that you communicate with your clients. It will assure them that you’re ready to hear out what their expectations are. Ask them if they have any questions, a new requirement, or any idea that they might want to implement at the wedding. This will also help you build a good rapport with your clients.
5. Record Every Detail
As a wedding photographer, you cater to multiple clients simultaneously. And every client has a different set of expectations from you. And therefore, it is important that you record every single detail both parties have agreed upon (besides the contract). This is where client/studio management software such as Táve and Honeybook could help you maintain your client records efficiently. We’d also suggest that you keep your clients updated after every interaction so that both of you are on the same page. This can help you better manage client expectations.
6. Don’t Let Pinterest Overwhelm You
Do you receive frequent requests from to-be brides to make sure that their wedding photos look like the ones they see on Pinterest? You’re not alone! Many brides these days consider Pinterest as their go-to social media platform for wedding photography inspiration. What happens when you get a photography request that requires you to take photos in a style that is entirely different from yours? If you find yourself in such a situation, we suggest you take a look at the reference image and let your clients know the parts you’d be able to recreate and what would be difficult to incorporate and why. You could also politely suggest your couple to focus on telling their own unique story through the photographs instead of making a copy of something.
7. Have a Crisis Management Mechanism In Place
Despite all your best efforts to ensure that your clients go back happy, you may sometimes have to manage couples who keep coming back to you with unreasonable expectations. When you find yourself in such a spot, do not hesitate to seek help from your crisis management team. If you do not have one in place – which is also fine – you could consult a professional. Simply put, cover all the bases to avoid getting into any legal hassles while handling clients who get too demanding.
Further Read: Top Legal Traps Wedding Photographers Face
Managing client expectations is definitely not a cakewalk, but it’s not impossible either. In the end, it’s all about putting a smile on your couple’s faces without overstretching yourself. The trick lies in efficient communication, accommodating a request when you can, and learning when to draw a line. And never shy away from saying no when needed! But remember to be kind. We hope you found this article resourceful! You can check out our blogs to learn more about how to grow as a wedding photographer.
At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you boost your wedding photography business and hone your creative skills. With our professional image editing services, we strive to lessen your post-production workload so you can focus on your business and art. To learn more about our services, you can take a look at our pricing plans.