by Kay Eskridge, CPP, M. Photog.,Cr No business is impervious…
You hear a lot of talk these days about the importance of marketing “buzz.” But what exactly does it take to create that buzz? It takes more than just a quality product; it requires a concerted effort to show clients how much you appreciate their business. It’s the little things you do — some of them unexpected — that get clients buzzing about your business to their friends and family, and it’s more important than ever to be on top of your client-appreciation game during an economic downturn. While you can’t control the economy, you can control what goes on when clients visit your premises. Here are some of those “little things” that pay big dividends in client satisfaction.
1. Make it easy for clients to find you. Send an attractive “welcome” card to clients which includes directions to your studio and the date and time of their session. Yes, you could accomplish the same thing by email, but it’s more impressive and easier for the client if you take this extra step to insure that your effort doesn’t get caught in a spam filter.
2. Be welcoming. Let clients know that you really are pleased to see them by getting up from whatever you are doing, walking toward them and extending your hand as you use warm, welcoming phrases such as “I’m so pleased to welcome you to our studio,” or “Welcome to our studio; we’re so glad you’re here!”
3. Offer appropriate refreshments such as coffee, tea, soda, or bottled water, as this gesture of hospitality helps to establish a relaxed atmosphere. Clients are more likely to say yes to refreshments if you ask “Would you like to join me in a cup of tea or coffee?”
4. Send hand-written thank you notes. It doesn’t take much time to pay attention to your client during the portrait or wedding process by saying:
- Just wanted to let you know that I am thrilled with the results of your session, and I can’t wait to show the portraits to you next Wednesday at 2:00!
- The images of Ashley are priceless! Can’t wait for you to see them next Wednesday at 2:00.
- It was great fun seeing you last Wednesday, and I’m so happy that you are as pleased with Ashley’s portraits as I am. I’m certain that you will love them even more when the finishing touches are completed and they are on display in your home! Thank you again for allowing us to create these special portraits for you.
- As your big day approaches, I just wanted to let you and Rob know how much I’m looking forward to photographing your wedding! Rest assured that I’ll do everything I can to record the beauty and joy of your special day.
5. Provide a little “something extra.” When clients arrive to pick up their finished portraits or albums, it really pays to surprise and delight them with something unexpected. It can be an item as simple as an extra gift-size portrait or a set of wallets. Another possibility is to surprise clients with a set of personalized press-printed note cards or mini-calendars that include one or more images from the portrait session or event.
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