Intro by Skip Cohen As I've written so many times…
We recently shared the first post on Marathon’s blog from customer service expert and NY Times best-selling author Shep Hyken. The post was about the three C’s of customer service, “Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!”
It’s one of my favorite topics, and it’s also one of the most important words in your business – in all aspects.
- Image Quality: I’ve done at least five hundred website reviews of photographers over the last ten years. As I’ve gone through each artist’s gallery, I’ve noticed there are often inconsistencies in the image quality. In fact, I spoke at an affiliate PPA chapter many years ago and observed the judging of album competition. In one particular album, the flesh tone of the bride changed from page to page. There was no consistency.
Look through your galleries and make sure every image you share is your very best work. Stop creating Jekyll and Hyde image collections – be consistent!
- Response Time: Too often, people think excellent service is after the initial exchange or transaction. The truth is, it’s everything you do, from that very first contact to follow-up on questions along the way. Set a goal for the fastest response time you can deliver to every contact – even it’s a first-time inquiry.
- Blog Posts: If you’re only posting when there’s a full moon, you’ll never get the traction your blog deserves. My suggestion is to post a minimum of twice a week, same days and times. Give your readers content they can count on.
- Blog Topics: You’ve got to be consistently relevant. It’s fine to get a little personal now and then, but you’ve got to see the world through your readers’ eyes.
- Your Attitude: Watching one of our favorite shows the other night on TV, one of the characters said to another on a phone call, “You know I can hear you smiling!” Be consistently upbeat with your clients regardless of the challenges. There’s another great line about listening – “You’ve got two ears and one mouth – so listen twice as much as you talk!”
In the months ahead, we’re going to be sharing more of Shep Hyken’s wisdom. Excellent service in every aspect of your business and brand is critical to your growth as an artist in your community. It’s also the way to gain an edge over your competitors!
To quote one of my best buddies, Tony Corbell, “When I first started as a professional photographer, I wasn’t the best in town, but I was determined to be the nicest!”