In part one of Mastering the Client Experience, we discussed the pre-booking process and how calling your inquiries can drastically improve your booking rate success. In part two today, I want to dive into the client experience AFTER they’ve signed on and agreed to work with you. This is your time to shine! Now you have the opportunity to connect with your clients, learn about them, and personalize your service. One of my absolute favorite ways to do this is by sending client questionnaires.
Questionnaires are first and foremost a tool to gather information about your clients. This relates directly to the client experience because the more information you have about your clients, the better you can serve them.
Throughout my workflow, I send several questionnaires to my clients. Today, I am going to share two questionnaires that I use in my workflow that I believe to be an important part of the overall client experience.
Note, these questionnaires relate directly to my wedding workflow so if you are a creative who serves different clients, I’d suggest using a similar formula to gather the information you need from your clients in order to elevate their experience working with you.
The Relationship Questionnaire
The relationship questionnaire is one of my favorite parts of the planning process with my wedding couples. It is an opportunity for them to tell you about how they met, how the proposal went down, what they like to do together, and so much more! I even ask them what their favorite type of candy or treat! I’ve heard from countless couples that filling out the relationship questionnaire was super fun and gave them an excuse to joke and laugh about all their memories together!
The purpose of this questionnaire is to gather information about the couple before you meet them. It makes them feel like you are genuinely interested in learning about them as a couple and want to use that information to create a better experience during their session(s).
One of the best questions to ask here as a photographer is whether or not they are nervous in front of the camera. I love to hear this before a session because it prepares me for what to expect and I can come armed with strategies and poses get them outside of their comfort zone.
The relationship questionnaire is also a great tool for writing your blog posts about the couple. I use the information that my couples provide in their questionnaire to tell their love story to my audience. Not only does blogging your sessions give you great exposure, but it also gives your clients a platform to share your work with everyone in their network and gush about how beautiful everything turned out. It’s a win-win. And all it takes is a few fun questions about their relationship!
The Wedding Day Questionnaire
For all my wedding photographer friends out there, listen up! This is by far the most important questionnaire you can send to your couples! The wedding day questionnaire includes EVERYTHING about their day, from the location of the bridal prep to the email addresses of their parents to the exact time they plan on having their sparkler exit. It is your resources for creating the minute by minute timeline for their wedding day.
And, you might be thinking, how does that relate to the client experience. Let me tell you a few reasons why I think the wedding day questionnaire is essential to a GREAT client experience:
- It shows that you are investing time in planning and preparing for the day.
- It gives them the opportunity to tell you everything they know about the moving pieces of the day.
- It reassures them that all of the photos they’ve dreamed of on their wedding day will happen.
- It shows your level of professionalism and organization.
- It is the jumping off point for a customized timeline that will make for an amazing, stress-free day for everyone involved (including their vendors).
Once you have all of the information from your clients about their wedding day, you can build a custom timeline for the day. I also recommend including a proposed family shot list in the timeline so your clients can pass along information to their loved ones about where and when to be ready for pictures.
After my clients have reviewed the timeline and made any changes, I typically schedule a call with them 14-days prior to their wedding to go over all the details again and reassure them that I have their back no matter what happens that day!
These questionnaires and a few others in my workflow are essential parts of my client experience. They are the links between me and my clients – allowing me to establish real connections and get to know them on a personal level, Moreover, they allow me to exhibit my professional level of experience and expertise when it comes to planning for a session. In the next part of this series, I will be talking about client education and how this can boost the client experience even further. Stay tuned.