You walk into a busy restaurant, and your experience begins immediately. You see a full lobby and customers simply look hangry. You can tell right away they have been sitting there longer than it’ll take them to eat their meal. You’re weighing your odds, do you wait the 60 minutes it takes just to be seated, or do you opt for a different meal? A meal that you haven’t been thinking about all day. A meal that just does not have the glands in your mouth salivating (I’m currently thinking about a big beautiful dish of lasagna! – How about you?!).
There’s a couple of factors that will ultimately sway your decision. Aside from hearing how long the wait time is, I can promise you the attentiveness you’ll receive from the hostess will be the other factor.
Think about it. If you’re greeted by someone with a pretty smile, bright eyes, and an upbeat personality, you’re more likely to wait. After all, you have only been able to think about one thing all day…that big plate of whatever you’re craving (insert lasagna)!
On the flip side of things, if you walk in the front doors, stroll to the pretty girl clicking away on a touchscreen, and you’re not even properly greeted, how likely are you to wait?
That first encounter sets the stage for the rest of your experience.
As a business owner, you have to keep that in mind every time you encounter someone new. Maybe they’re not going to be your customer today, but maybe they will be your customer tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. Or maybe…they’ll be your biggest referral traffic for the next three years (or lack thereof).
So I’m sure you know where this post is going today! Today I want to talk about providing an experience for your couples that makes them want to talk about you in the best way possible! Maybe you already have a great experience in place? Here are 3 ways you could improve on that experience even more!
In the world of technology that we live in currently (I mean, is it going to go away?! We all know the answer to that question, don’t we?), how excited are you to receive something in the mail that is NOT an advertisement for your favorite department store or a bill (#adulting)? I know when my email lands in my inbox every morning at 8 am from USPS showing me what mail will be delivered for the day and I see a card with a human’s handwriting on it, something triggers in my brain. Happiness. Excitement. Anticipation. Someone took the time out of their day to think of me! Why wouldn’t you want your clients to feel the same?
Action: Brainstorm times that you could send your clients snailmail. As a wedding photographer, I can think of five times right off the top of my head. That’s five times you’re surprising them in their physical mailbox. Five times you’re giving them reason to talk about you!
You’re the professional in your field. You have worked more in your industry than your client, why else are they hiring you? Sure, you have talent, but your client also wants to be guided in their experience with you. They have never planned a wedding before. They don’t know what flowers are in season for their wedding. They don’t know their newborn baby needs to be a certain age so these new parents have pinterest worthy photos of this tiny miracle. But you know who holds the answers to all those questions. The expert. You are the expert. Show your clients that!
Action: If you’re not already, blogging is a beautiful place to educate your clients. Create that evergreen content that will live on your website forever (or until you stop paying your subscription). Capture the emails of those ideal clients by putting a free-guide on your website (Not sure what I’m talking about, scroll to the bottom of this page). To get the free-resource, those potential clients have to exchange their email for it! Add links to your most helpful content to sections of your website, or newsletter, or to the link in your instagram profile. (Want to see what my IG link looks like? Thanks to Showit, it’s insanely helpful for both Brides and Creatives! AND it was just as easy to design as any other page on my website. AND….I don’t have to pay for a third party app!!)
I’ve been listening to Donald Miller’s Podcast – Building a Story Brand (If you want to grab the book – HIGHLY recommend it, click here!) and he is always talking about how our brain burns calories. “It doesn’t want to use up the calories considering something that isn’t going to help us survive and thrive.”
So, what does all that mean? It means a couple of things. Keep your message simple. Keep your contact information simple. Keep your pricing simple. Keep everything about your client experience, you guessed it, SIMPLE.
Action: Look at your website, your email signature, your social media, your overall client experience. Where can you simplify things? Make it easier on your client? Can you simplify the booking process? Do you do electronic contracts and invoices, or is it still paper? If you’re still rocking the paper, consider switching to a client management system that does electronic contracts and invoicing (and questionnaires, and automated workflows, and expense tracking, and booking pages, and lead tracking, and projects, and proposals, and templates, and pricing pages) like Pixifi!
I recently changed up my email signature because I realized it looked a bit cluttered. It need to be simplified. My new website (designed by Davey and Krista on Showit!) has less text because it was overwhelming. And for the first time, thanks to technology, I’m seeing people click those links and explore my website. People are spending more time on my website. (Potential) Clients aren’t burning unnecessary calories trying to gather information and decide if I’m the right photographer to capture their wedding day!
With these three ways to improve your client experience, you could set your business up for serious increase in referrals. These small, but mighty, gestures will make your client, and future clients, lives a bit easier. And of course, happier. When clients are happy and overjoyed with the experience you provide, they’re going to talk about it to everyone they know. So do yourself a favor, go pick up a pen and paper and jot down 10 ways you can improve your client experience from the various action steps I gave you today!