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If you’re looking to improve customer service in your business, then the first thing you need to do is figure out what’s already working for you. A lot of people try and change the way their photography business is running without examining what your clients already love about it.
So, I highly recommend that you send out some questionnaires to your existing clients to ask them what they enjoyed when they worked with you. Make sure to ask some specific questions about customer service, but also leave some questions open-ended.
You never know what someone might tell you that could help.
Next, you’ll need to look up some customer service tips to see what is already working for other photographers. There’s really no need to reinvent the wheel here. You can improve customer service in your business by using tips from other people.
If you already know what you need to fix, then you can use some of these photography business tips to do so.
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Remember That Your Clients Are Unique
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When you first try to improve customer service in your business, you may make a crucial mistake: thinking all of your clients want the exact same thing.
One of the big problems with fixing customer service for photographers is that every single one of your clients is probably looking for something different. Sure, if you’ve done your marketing properly, then you know the types of clients you are generally going to get. Still, each of your clients comes from a unique background.
You need to focus on catering to each individual client instead of focusing on selling your product. Someone is talking to you because they understand that you have a product they want. In order to improve customer service in your business, focus on your customer.
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I’m not going to lie. This is one of the most difficult ways to improve customer service at your business. However, it’s also the most effective way.
Let me give you an example. The other day I was in the middle of a 12-hour long shoot. I arrived at the location at 6 in the morning and I wasn’t set to get home until well after 7pm. During the time when I was at that location, my business received over two dozen messages from clients and potential clients.
Given the fact that potential clients are far more likely to work with a photographer who responds fastest to their initial request, I knew I couldn’t just be off the grid for over 12 hours. So, I set aside time throughout the shoot to take a break and check my messages and respond to potential clients.
The key here is to respond quickly, but without taking up a ton of time. I have a form email that I copy and paste that thanks the person for making their inquiry and that I’m happy to discuss details of a photo shoot with them. It also says that I’m out of the office for a bit but will get in touch as soon as possible. Just sending this quick email gets that “touch” that potential clients need to keep me on their radar.
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A big part of learning how to improve customer service is learning how to control your own emotions. Unfortunately, in a client facing role like photography, you’re going to have to deal with some people who are extremely difficult.
For instance, I was doing a shoot for a client a few weeks ago. Despite the fact that my contract specifically stated the day when these services would be rendered, the client cancelled on me. Since they said they were sick, I was more than willing to reschedule. Someone can’t control if they get ill (especially during a pandemic).
However, they then tried to cancel yet another time after we had rescheduled originally. This time it was because they had family coming into town.
I’m not going to lie. I was mad. I was really mad. But, instead of responding in the moment with that anger, I gave myself 15 minutes to cool off. Then, I responded and let them know that, per our contract, cancellations within 48 hours of the shoot are charged at full price. I then asked them whether they would still like to cancel and because of my professionalism in that moment, they changed their mind and decided to go through with the shoot.
If I had responded when I originally read their text, I’m sure I would have lost that client forever. In order to improve customer service, you need to be 10 times more professional than your clients.
Leave Everyone Feeling Better
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If you’ve never been in a corporate customer service role, then you’ve likely never heard of this concept. But there’s something called “closing a conversation” that is supposed to tremendously help to improve customer service.
Closing a conversation is very similar to closing a sale. The idea is that you have to be in control of conversations with your clients and that you need to reach a certain goal in every conversation that you have.
Now, making a sale is not typically the goal you’re aiming for. Instead, you may be interested in making your client happier with the services that you’re offering or resolving an issue that the client has.
The goal that you should be striving for every time you have a conversation with a client, regardless of what that conversation is about, is making sure that your client is excited to be working with you.
Sometimes, all a client wants to hear is some empathy from you. But, by figuring out how to close a conversation, you will dramatically improve customer service at your business.