4 Simple Ways to Improve the Client Experience
My photography business relies heavily on my customer service aka client experience. I use the word customer service because I don't ever want to forget that I am providing a service and I am in sales, not just photography. If you are in a business like mine, you create art and sell it, then this very much applies to you!
When you are trying to wrap your head around what you want your clients to experience when with you, it can be overwhelming. A client experience begins before you ever meet and continues long after you are done doing business together. I firmly believe that the client experience you create should come from your heart. This is how you are able to honest with them and build the trust needed to have a successful business and possibly personal relationship long term.
I am VERY PASSIONATE about the client experience. I am very passionate about good customer service and providing the absolute best to the people who believe so much in what I do that they would spend their hard earned money on it. I could write endless pages of my thoughts on the client experience, but for sake of this blog post I have created 4 simple ways to improve the client experience so that you can get up and running without being overwhelmed.
Have an AWESOME First Impression
Your first impression starts in two different ways. Let's start with the first way.
I secretly hope you are rolling your eyes at me and mumbling "duh" to yourself. Hopefully you at least know that having a killer social media presence is extremely important to your business. My hope is that you know this but you just need help getting it on the right track.
This post is not directly related to improving your social media, so I will not dive into this topic in depth right now. But because you might need a hint at a direction, remember these three things: be happy, be consistent, and remember the 80/20 rule. 80% business 20% personal. (expect a future post on this)
Referrals from past clients or referrals from people you have never met.
Can you believe that people you have never met might be out there referring you to others?! It's true. One year, I had a large number of inquiries and a few bookings from someone I had never met. She had found me on social media and was an avid follower. She loved my work, but she personally had no need to hire me. It turns out that she was sharing my name throughout the community and drumming up business for me.
If I had not had a great social media and web presence, I believe that this may not have happened.
Have Consistent and Effective Client Communication
I firmly believe in responding to your clients within 48 hours. If I am ever in a situation where it could take longer to respond, I will set an auto responder. This consistency lets them know you are thinking of them, you haven't skipped town, and all is good in the world. Seriously.
When I communicate to my clients I try to be as detailed as possible. I provide as much information as possible so that they are fully informed. If I am unsure of something, I make sure to address it and let them know what I am doing to resolve it. Without a doubt, this is a personality trait. It's the way I have always been. However, I do believe it has led to a better client experience.
Pay Attention to the Little Details
I'm a detail orientated girl, so this comes to easy to me. I actually contemplate the color pens I am going to use when sending notes. I also think about who it is I am interacting with. If it's a super outgoing client I will use a ridiculous amount of exclamation marks in my email. If my client is a little more to the point, I stick to the point and try not to over-do it with my exclamation marks. It's sounds silly. But this is who I am, and I know my clients appreciate it.
So I urge you to consider the little details. Clients do notice them! Not all clients, but most. It's easy to add a personal touch by using colorful tape on an envelope you are mailing or to ask a client how their trip to the beach was! I know you can do it and I know it will make a difference.
(custom usb and photo boxes from photoflash drive)
Set Expectations with Consistency
I have learned that the easiest way for me to be consistent is to have a schedule, set deadlines, and stick to them. Trust me, I have tried the opposite and it doesn't work so well.
One great example of how I set expectations with consistency is with my Social Media. The most popular system I have in place is my social media sneak peeks. My senior clients can expect that the week following their senior session they will get to see about 3-5 photos from their senior session on social media. They know it's going to happen because they have seen me do it after their friends had their portraits taken. They expect it and they love it.
I also set expectations with my behind the scenes posts that I showcase during a senior portrait session or immediately following the session. It takes work and a conscience effort, but I give my followers a look into what to expect and it pays off! It not only builds the kind of excitement I want for my business, but it let's people see who I am as a photographer and as person. Remember, I am meeting people through social media on a daily basis.
Keep in mind, that you need to be consistent with this in order for it to be effective!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I could write pages and pages about the client experience. I feel as though I can share so much with you and help you get this part of your business right on track!
If you ARE looking for more tips, advice, and business guidance you will be excited to know that I have just what you need! My best bud Brittany Lauren and I have dreamed up the most amazing opportunity for other photographers to learn our secrets to our success. If you have been following us on social media (MelissaLynnHunt and BrittanyLaurenCreates) then you know we've had something in the works. Next week we will finally reveal all the details!! Follow the blog daily to learn more and be ready for when the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT goes live!