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photo by ferrantraite via iStock
Given the year that we all had last year, we are all wanting to have the best 2021 possible and one of the worst kept photography secrets is that you can only have as good of a year as your clients do. So, why not work to improve your interactions with your clients to help you both out?
No matter how many photography business tips you follow, you’re going to have a really hard time running your company if your clients don’t love the services you provide for them. And while it is true that your photos are a huge part of your service, your interactions with your customers are too.
Here are four simple, and actionable, ways to improve your interactions with your clients this year.
Actually Get and Use Feedback
photo by DjelicS via iStock
We have all heard advice before about getting and collecting feedback from our clients, but when your business is really slammed, taking time to track people down for feedback usually isn’t on the top of my priority list.
But, in order to really learn how to make a positive impression on your clients, you need to know what has worked for other people before them.
In order to get useful feedback, you need to make sure that you’re asking every one of your clients for it. This way you can ensure that you’re getting the positive, along with the negative. You can do this either by following up with an email after their session is over or by asking them in person.
If they don’t want to give you feedback directly, they can always do so on review websites like Yelp or Google.
While getting the feedback may be the hardest part, you also have to actually implement it. Take time to review your feedback on a monthly basis and make changes based on it in order to improve your interactions with your clients.
photo by Albina Gavrilovic via iStock
One of the easiest ways to improve your interactions with your clients is to simply check your attitude. As a small business owner, I definitely understand how hard it can be to wake up every day excited about everything you have to do. But, if you aren’t genuinely thrilled to be working for your clients, they will be able to see this and it will affect their experience with you.
It’s one of the reasons why I prioritize my own mental health as a business need. Whether you need to work out, or meditate, or talk to a therapist about your stress, you need to make sure that you’re happy in your job so that your clients can be happy working with you.
A more immediate way to be gracious is to simply thank your clients for their time and money. I like to send a handwritten thank you card to all of my clients after our sessions, but if you don’t think you have time for this, at least send one to every new client you see. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to improve your interactions if you’re both humble and happy to be working.
Meet Your Customers Where They’re At
photo by Vladimir Vladimirov via iStock
This is probably the most actionable way to improve your interactions with your clients, at least on this list. You simply need to find your clients and meet them where they’re at.
If a client is unhappy with your services and posts about this dissatisfaction somewhere like Yelp, then you should be using Yelp to respond to them and to see what you can do to change their experience.
If a client is interested in a package you’re offering and they send you a DM on twitter asking for your prices, don’t just send them a link to your website. Answer their question right there and then in another DM and then send them a link to your full package pricing.
Each business has literally dozens of communication channels, from their direct website to their social media accounts to your personal phone or email, and there is basically nothing more frustrating in the world than sending a business a message and being immediately redirected somewhere else.
One simple way to improve your interactions is to make sure you’re having them on whatever platform your clients are using.
Use Online Texting Instead of a Contact Form
I wrote an article filled with communication tips for business owners the other day and it included some information about Podium, which is a new all-in-one messaging platform I’ve been using. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it.
One of my favorite features of Podium is the fact that they offer “online texting.” So, instead of having your clients fill out a contact form, which can be difficult since people know it may take a long time to hear back, you can have a live chat option on your website that sends that message directly to your phone. You can respond in seconds.
All your clients have to do is submit their name, their phone number, and their message and that’s it. While Podium isn’t a free service, it has been worth its weight in gold for my business and you can try it for free so you can figure out if the same is true for you.