It’s almost the new year, and booking season is right around the corner. New clients are knocking, and it’s our chance to dazzle them with the client experience.
In a world where word of mouth means everything, it’s no longer good enough as a growing business to just do an OK job. We need to “Wow!” our customers by exceeding their expectations.
This process of customer satisfaction can be illustrated in two distinct areas:
The Expected: Clients expect great pictures, prompt email or phone responses, and beautiful products with on-time delivery. They hire a professional to meet all of those expectations. For those who wish to charge peak prices, high prices come with high client demands. The expected area of customer satisfaction can be illustrated as “Duh!” or “Of course, that’s what I paid your for!”
The Excitement: Creating excitement for clients starts with exceeding the expected. Have you ever been completely taken back by a positive experience at your favorite store? An experience that left you saying “Wow, I really loved that they did that! I had no idea!”
Your clients all have wants and needs that they, if asked, would have great difficulty verbalizing. Satisfying these wants and needs are surprises that would dramatically alter their experience and send them running to the streets to sing your praises. Surprise dinners out, an extra DVD for mom and dad, new acrylics waiting at their door… Just. Because.
The expected is what maintains trust and keeps clients happy, however the excitement is what wins them over for good. With such extreme benefits, it’s no surprise that creating this type of excitement is tough. You have to be the idea-guru, using what you know about your clients to materialize their unsaid wants and needs.
Dazzle Your Clients – Put it into practice!
Often finding time away to brainstorm these ideas can be the biggest barrier to dazzling your clients.
Most likely, the reason you don’t have the time is because you spend it satisfying the expected: shooting, editing, and designing products. Creating more time to “Wow!” your clients and improve the client experience is only possible when you can satisfy normal expectations efficiently.
With some concentrated effort and amazing systems, the time you spend in the Expected bucket can drastically decrease. Systems, and a focus on efficiency and reducing waste, will leave you with more time to create programs and incentives that excite your clients.
Remember – the time wasted on expected activities is time taken away from Wow!-ing your clients. Make 2012 a year that dazzles – through efficiency and innovative ideas.
-Start by writing down all of the things you do that are simply expected. Examine what can be eliminated, and where you can change your systems to become more efficient. Where are you wasting your time, energy, or money?
-When you have the time to brainstorm ideas for dazzling your clients, start with some market research. The information you acquire will help you create programs and incentives that will surely dazzle!
About Leeann Marie
Leeann is a Pittsburgh-based wedding, engagement, and boudoir photographer. An avid blogger, she loves connecting with her clients, friends, and other photographers around the world. She holds an engineering background from the University of Pittsburgh, which has led to a love of technology and teaching.
She loves Lady Gaga, champagne, and kettle-cooked chips. She has traveled the world to places such as Russia, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and Panama, and believes in living the life you have dreamed.