Last week I attended the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber Business Awards at the Ivy House Country Hotel – shortlisted in the Excellence in Customer Service Award (1-10 employees) category. I’m so proud to have made it to the finals just two years after opening my photography business. It is recognition for how I put my customers at the heart of my business and although I didn’t win this year, being shortlisted – along with my five-star Facebook reviews – tell me I am doing something right. So I thought I’d share with you here some of the ways I work with my clients to make sure they love their photographs.
Listening and learning
From the very first chat with a customer - whether it’s for a wedding,?family or boudoir shoot - I make sure I know exactly what my clients are looking for so that I can deliver pictures that they will treasure forever. Listening to customers is key and is the core of my business – any shoot needs to be a mix of my professional expertise as to what makes a great picture and what a customer is imagining when booking a photographer. It’s a fine balance, but one that works for me.
When it comes to wedding photography, I work closely with each couple and offer bespoke packages tailored to individual requirements. Although it might just be ‘another job’ for me, this is never the approach I take. A wedding is often the most important day of my clients’ lives, and they want every detail to be perfect. I really believe that keeping this in my mind at all times is essential.
As well as creating images that my clients love, I need to make sure they are comfortable with me as their photographer. Taking wedding pictures means I am often there while a bride is getting ready and possibly feeling a little nervous and stressed - I make sure I am a calming presence for my customers, never intrusive but always there if they need my support. I do this by having plenty of meetings and communication in the run-up to a wedding, getting to know the bride and groom - and letting them get to know me - so that by the time the wedding comes around, they know what to expect and I’m a welcome addition to the day.
Going above and beyond
I’m incredibly proud of all the feedback from my customers – and all the 5-star reviews I get on Facebook - newlyweds delighted with their wedding pictures, parents thrilled with the shots of their new baby and companies happy with their staff headshots. And I could just leave it there, but I keep the conversation going with my customers, going that one step further to make sure they feel well looked after, even after the shoot is over. An example of this is a new initiative I have started, where I send a bespoke 1st anniversary gift to my wedding photography clients - I choose my favourite picture from the day and send them a hand-written card, along with the gift, with my congratulations for their first year of marriage. This attention to detail is something that differentiates me from other photographers and illustrates how important customer care is to me as a business.
Making a connection
Having a photo shoot can be an exciting experience, but it can also make people feel nervous. My approach is to really listen to the needs of my clients and understand exactly what they are hoping to see in the finished product so that, regardless of if they are a natural in front of the camera or require a little more encouragement, they will end up with stunning images they will treasure forever.
I hope this blog has given you more of an idea of how much I value every single customer. Do check out some of the reviews on my Facebook page and feel free to get in touch with any queries.