In your wedding photography business, creating and maintaining happy clients is an essential part of your success. Happy clients are ones who will refer you to others and help you book more weddings. Since you work with a variety of clients, there are instances where you may come across difficult clients. What should you do to figure out how to deal with a difficult client (or avoid them altogether)? ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Vanessa Joy Photography, is back with her next post and will share 3 simple steps to creating and maintaining happy wedding clients.
Create Happy Wedding Clients
We’ve all been there. The stress, the anxiety, and heartbreak you feel when one of your clients is upset with you, or worse, is flat-out angry and lashing out. If you haven’t had a client turn from Jekyll to Hyde, then consider yourself lucky. Fortunately, we can head off clients problems before they start by following 3 easy steps to maintaining client satisfaction.
See the Red Flags
Hindsight is 20-20 so learning to spot a problem client before they become a client can be tricky, but it’ll save both you and your client a lot of misery later on. You have to decide what the red flags are for you because they’re not necessarily the same for everyone. For example, some photographers might consider a client who hands them a list of 100 pictures she demands be taken a problem client. Other photographers would see that as a plus. One photographer may think that a client who insists on nothing but candid pictures is the perfect client. Another photographer would only want clients who give them at least an hour of photo session time.
Determine what your red flags are, (i.e. personalities clashing, an uninterested groom, an overbearing mother of the bride) and decide at that point whether you want to work with the client or not. There’s no sense in taking on a client that will ultimately make both of your lives miserable for the next 18 months – it’s not worth the paycheck.
Related: What are you doing to set clear expectations for your business in your marketing?
Have a System
Having a system that pertains to your wedding photography color correction workflow is one thing, but developing a system for clients is a completely separate task. You want to have a system that keeps communication open with your wedding clients at all times so they know what to expect and when to expect it. This builds trust between you and your client and heads off potential problems that arise when there is a lack of communication. For what my exact workflow looks like, check out my templates in the 17Hat’s Marketplace, available only to 17Hats users.
Having consistent communication is a main goal of mine. Keeping clients informed of what’s happening and what they can expect next will head off not only potential problems but a slew of emails and questions from clients as well.
Related: How can fast turnaround times create client evangelists?
Give Them Your Best
When it comes to consumer psychology, how a client feels is everything. So, make them feel important by giving them your best. Obviously, we want to give clients our best photography, but to them, that’s what they’re paying for. Find ways to exceed their expectations elsewhere and look for opportunities to make them happy. I like to do this by giving surprise gifts, like a marriage book when they book with me, a same-day album the night of their wedding, and occasionally a freebie upgrade (that doesn’t cost me much, but means the world to them). When you under-promise and over-deliver, you’ll find happy clients every time.
Ideally, you’ll want to make sure that your business is loaded with amazing customer service that will help deter problems before they start. I operate my studio to make sure that my clients are happy and value what I do as a NYC Wedding Photographer. However, even with all of your best efforts, a bad client, a bad experience or a mess up on your end will creep into your life at some point or another. When it happens, take a deep breath, and put yourself in their shoes before responding. Oh, and check out next month’s article here on ShootDotEdit where I’ll share secrets to diffusing bridal bombs when they happen!
When you take the time to work on processes and systems and make sure they are streamlined and geared toward creating a positive client experience, you lower the chances of having difficult wedding clients. Plus, you create and maintain happy wedding clients who will refer you to their family and friends.
Another area for you to focus on to create happy clients is your photography brand. Branding mistakes can cause confusion for your wedding clients, which can leave you with a difficult client. Find out branding mistakes you may be making (and not know it) with our free Guide. Grab your copy today!
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