Customer Care For Your Photography Business.
Customer care is one of the bedrocks of modern marketing theory, but there is much more to it than replacing faulty goods or giving refunds, like the customer care desk at a big supermarket.
It's much more about being customer-focussed – anticipating and meeting customer needs, making clients feel valued, seeking and listening to feedback, and so on. Here are some ideas of how it can be used in the sphere of commercial photography.
Taking time to understand what your customer wants
If you get a photographic commission, don't just turn up and gun and run. You are likely to get much better results if you meet with the client first – be it a bride or a company seeking head shots – and discuss the kind of look and style they want.
This is absolutely crucial at a wedding, as you can't hold the day again if the customer is not happy with your shots. Holding a pre-wedding shoot is a good way to get to know your couple and discuss the kind of images you like.
Draw up a shot plan for the day that everyone signs up to, as well.
It's also important to put the customer first and not be hung up on a particular 'look' if it's not what they want. Maybe they want more elaborately lit 'celebrity' looking scenes rather than natural light, and if so, you are going to have to get your head around how to pull it off if you want their money.
Or, they might not like your artistic bokeh effects or fisheye lenses – again, showing them your work beforehand and having a full and frank discussion will reduce the risk of misunderstandings.
Being cool on the day
You can't allow yourself to get flustered or stressed; it will make your subjects nervous and uncomfortable on a corporate shoot, and can be a real downer for everyone else at a wedding. If you are worried about your gear not working, or flunking a specific technique, test everything and do lots of practice beforehand.
It's a mark of respect to your customer that you are also prepared for disaster – so you have a back up camera, spare batteries, plenty of memory cards, and so on.
Treat memory cards like gold dust and keep them in a memory card belt if you are worried about losing them on the day. You need to be fully insured too, or you can get hung out to dry on social media.
Going The Extra Mile
So send out a thank you card when somebody books you, put together a Lightroom slideshow to show curious guests during a wedding, and then request feedback when the job is done and dusted. You will stick in people's mind, in a good way, and it' s all part of customer care.
Sending Christmas cards or wedding anniversary cards to clients is something else that sets you apart from other photographers.