It was amazing and totally nerve wrecking to speak at the Madison Wisconsin Tuesday Together meeting a few months ago. Client Connections and Experience is something I am very passionate about when it comes to my clients. I want to make sure they feel appreciated.
Be you, appreciate them and be real.
People want to feel appreciated in a real and authentic way. Do I treat every couple the same? No, I make every gift to clients unique to them. I get to know clients and give them things that are unique to their personalities and hobbies. Sometimes I do not know what those are so I have a certain back up gift of a hand made print and prints of their session – or wine 🙂 Everyone loves wine right!?
The feel of being appreciates starts from the very beginning with me. My emails are bright, honest and straight forward. If we can meet in person we meet at a comfortable spot that fits their style and personalities (I find this out by asking what kind of cocktails and coffee they like), along with purchasing whatever they get. I have all my samples with me so they can touch, feel and experience the story of others wedding days. While they are doing this we talk about their story – how they met, how he proposed ect. I let it come naturally into price and the business stuff if I can. I have had meetings last hours because we are just talking and getting to know one another.
As soon as they leave I write down what we discussed and what I need to send them via email. Then I send a THANK YOU email with follow up information with full pricing, down-payment info and contract. Always, letting them know if they have any questions, concerns or anything at all to text, email or call me! I am there to help in anyway I can!
When they book, I send them a welcome packet with their paper copy of the contract, invoice and a special gift. This gift varies – but usually contains a copy of Wisconsin Bride or Dainty Obsessions, a thank you card, a mini bottle of Lamarca Prosecco,
When they get their USB I send them a wooden USB with my logo on it, a print of my favorite image and some Just Coffee. (My favorite coffee EVER!)
There a few other gifts in between but I keep secret because I love surprising my clients.
Do you HAVE to do all this? No! Why do I do it? Because I love gifts and giving them – always have and it just makes me happy knowing that they are being surprised.
What client experience is not:
It is not having to spend out of your comfort zone to make clients want to spend more or to feel more boutique. It is more important than selling & marketing.
What client experience is:
It is making people feel like they are the most important person! Make them feel beautiful, wanted, loved, and important. Respond to their emails, texts and messages in a timely matter. I just added a AUTO email to ensure that I get information out ASAP. With my every growing business I am running out of time to keep up sometimes – especially since we travel so much. When we are with clients at their sessions or weddings – our phones are in our car, or off. We try really hard to put BTS up on Instagram, but we are always thinking and planning our next move at weddings so we are present and not buried in our phones.
You are not just a business – you are a person. Bring your personality into your branding and business. Make them feel like family!
QUESTION // What if I do not have a large budget for gifts?
You do not have to spend a ton! I repeat YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND A TON! When I first started and when I fall on hard times personally I can only spend $5-10 per client. This is perfectly fine – sometimes the little things mean the most. When I get a hand written thank you note with a payment it makes my heart so happy. Sometimes those notes are on sticky notes! I keep every single one! I love to look through them on a bad day to remind myself how many great people have come into my life.
Client experience is making people feel appreciated and loved.
QUESTION // As a retail store, how do I ensure a great experience when I do not have a store front?
Make your brand consistent from website to order. Make sure you logo, colors and texture all all the same from beginning to end. With each order I ensure that my website and logo is EVERYWHERE.. This way they will see my name a few times from opening to sharing with family and friends. This imprints a memory for when others ask about photography.
I also do something a little different – I try to work with all the senses. As soon as they open their mailbox they will smell a lovely smell of coffee. Open up to texture of different papers while seeing a consistence color scheme that screams my business.
I wish I could remember everything I said – but I seriously think I blacked out from stage fright….. But, the best thing to remember is how would you want to be treated? What makes you feel appreciated? And you do not have to spend a ton of money! Think outside the box – get away from tote bags, coffee cups and other “normal” gifts. People can only have so many coffee cups and tote bags. Things like custom printed kitchen towels, cutting boards, coffee, wine, cookies, a gift card, and other things people just cannot get enough of or have too much of.
Also, make your branding consistent unique to you and on point with your brand. Think about your favorite stores, how do they go above and beyond to make you feel that the money you just spent was worth it and your appreciated for it?
You are not allowed to mail alcohol – USPS! But, I say package it very carefully (I mean VERY carefully) and do not mail in the Winter. (for those of you in cold winter states like me)
Where did I get my packaging?
Mailing boxes – ULINE because I love buying in bulk and it gets to me in about 2 days or less! They also have a TON of other great things for your business!
Ribbon – Save on Crafts
Print boxes – TAP Packaging
Business Cards – Moo.com – because they are the best! (affiliate code)
Post Cards for Thank you’s, Gift Cards, ect – designed by me and printed by Millers.com on 100% recycled paper
Stamps – Creatiate– she can do any logo! Tell her I sent you – she is my all time favorite!
Tissue Paper – Papermart. com
All my packaging in 90% recycled materials, since I am a Eco Friendly Company. We are striving for 100% recycled in the near future, from products to mailing supplies.
Have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOGRAPHERS – check out the amazing RAD PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT happening April 5-8 2017 in Waupaca Wisconsin. Seats are filling fast! Save $200 by using the code RADRETREAT until August 24th!