In Part 4 of Mastering the Client Experience, I want to give you three strategies for mastering the client experience on the day of the wedding. But before we dive into the last part of this series, let’s recap the last three posts.
A quick review of Part #1 – 3 of Mastering the Client Experience:
#1 – Calling Your Inquiries – don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call your potential new client. This move will pay dividends in securing leads for your photography business.
#2 – Client Questionnaires – gather information about your clients to build a relationship, find out about all the details of their day, communicate with vendors, and help with organizing their timeline. They will thank you!
#3 – How to Educate Your Clients – remember, you’ve done this before. Share your advice and expertise with your clients through useful emails, suggested timelines, and fun blog posts or articles.
Now that you have secured your new client, organized their day-of timeline, shared useful educational emails, and built a relationship with this couple, it’s time to really shine!
It’s time to show your clients why they hired you and shoot an amazing wedding.
But wait, this is the MOST important part of the client experience. It is not just about shooting and delivering amazing photos to the couple. In these 8 – 12 hours, you have the opportunity to blow your clients away and get referrals from the couple, their friends in the wedding who might have just gotten engaged, or even one of their vendors!
Don’t underestimate the potential of these critical hours in the client experience. Show them your personality, exude positivity all day, make friends, remember names, and be the amazing professional that you are! Hey, don’t be afraid to even bust a move on the dance floor!
For today’s blog post, I want to give you SEVEN useful strategies for mastering the client experience on the day of the wedding.
#1 – Use People’s Names
This one is simple yet very impactful. Use everyone’s name: the couple (obviously), the MOH, the groomsmen, the parents, and vendors.
The night before the wedding, crash study the timeline, the wedding party names, and family members names so they are fresh in your mind. Then, use them as much as possible throughout the wedding day.
Don’t be the person who says, “Hey guy, in the beard, can you move here?”
#2 – Be on Time & Stay on Time
Timeliness is everything. You are the director and it is your responsibility to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, at all times.
Now, I understand that this is by far the hardest part of the day. Herding cats is…well…impossible. Communicate clearly and audibly. Establish leadership right away. Also, be quick on your toes. Be ready to provide solutions and workarounds when things get off track (or if it starts raining during family formals).
Trust me, this takes practice and confidence in your timeline.
#3 – Be Prepared!
My brides refer to it as being a wedding day “superhero” but in short, it all really comes down to being prepared. Does your bride need a tissue after the first look? No problem you’ve got one in your bag! Is her dress snagging on her beaded heels? Or, do her feet hurt? You have an extra set of flip flops in your bag! Is her hair falling out? No problem – you’ve got bobby pins on you!
Be prepared for bumps in the road on a wedding day. It is your job to handle them with expert ability, keeping the schedule in mind and making decisions so your bride or groom don’t have to. The last thing they want is to create added stress on their wedding day. When a problem arises (no matter how BIG) always downplay the issue and do everything you can to resolve the situation.
Wedding days are crazy, and if you can figure out how to act on your toes then you’ll be golden!
#4 – Be Positive and Full of Joy
This is their happiest day ever (we hope!) and being that you are responsible for much of the day means that your attitude (both good or bad) WILL affect everyone around you. Be a source of radiant joy and energy throughout the day. Give constant, positive affirmation to everyone about their poses, how they look, etc. Remember, you are part of the celebrations too. Make sure you show your excitement!
#5 – Command Gentle Authority
One of the things my brides always comment on is how I am able to command their wedding parties and families for portraits without being demanding. The best approach I’ve found for this is really trying to get to know them in the beginning of the day and just being down to earth and level with them. Ask their names, crack jokes with them, and have fun.
#6 – Be flexible.
One of my best referrals from a bride was about “being flexible” on her wedding day. It was approximately 112 degrees in August and the bride was about to faint! We hadn’t taken any photos other than family portraits and she was ready to collapse. So, I gave her a few options…1) We could cut portrait time in half. 2) We could shoot inside in the air condition. 3) We could take just group shots and no individual shots and just a handful of bride and groom portraits and then take the rest during a free session. I offered her a free session when the weather was cooler (such as October or September). She opted to power through everything super quickly and ended up being THRILLED with the result. When she referred me to a ton of her friends, I asked her if she could share WHY she was so comfortable referring me. She said one of the huge reasons was that I didn’t force her to do anything she didn’t want to do. I was extremely flexible and accommodating. And I still produced beautiful images that were on their terms, not my own.
#7 – Same day slideshow.
Another way to REALLLLLLLY blow your clients away and be sure your work gets in front of the maximum amount of people at the wedding is doing a same day slideshow. In order to do this you need a really strong workflow so you’re not frazzled and stressed the whole time but this will really send your clients through the roof! (In a good way!) Just make sure if you do this you’re not telling them about it – make it a surprise!
To conclude this four part series, I want to encourage you to see the value in creating an amazing client experience for every couple or individual who walks through your door. Client experience and customer satisfaction are the #1 thing business owners need to be focusing on for success long term!
Your client experience is what will set your business apart over and over again from your saturated market. This is what will result in turning clients into raving fans for your business and increased word of mouth referrals.
I believe that as service providers, our clients should be our #1 priority, and I’ve seen it proven time and time again that a great experience leads to referrals and more amazing clients!
To read the first three posts from this series (and start implementing strategies for a better client experience today), click the links below.