1. Business

How Photographers Can Guarantee Customer Loyalty in Their Photography Business: Part II

Intro by Skip Cohen

Remember as you read this post from Bryan Caporicci, everything he talks about, he does! He’s a man of many talents, but at the core of every aspect of his business is his role as a working photographer. Every client feels special and has a relationship with Bryan that he works hard to maintain.

In this Part II post about building customer loyalty, Bryan’s got some solid ideas on how to surprise your client, but I’ll add a couple three more.

  • On their first anniversary call and congratulate the couple. Offer to do a portrait sitting as your special gift. This is an idea David Ziser has used for years.
  • Do a hybrid video holiday or thank you card with images from their wedding. This is for them to enjoy and send to their friends. It doesn’t need to be longer than 60-90 seconds and should include still images combined with a short video clip or two – all put to great music. Photodex makes it so easy to surprise a client with a gift like this.
  • Create a poster with Bella Art prints. Marathon makes it easy and it’s a finished product every couple would be surprised to receive.

Remember the younger the bride the more friends she has who will be getting married! Don’t miss the opportunity to not only build loyalty but word-of-mouth awareness. While most of the suggestions we’ve shared are wedding-centric, the idea applies to every client, no matter what your photographic specialty.

by Bryan Capporicci

How to “deliver delight” to clients

Do you want customer loyalty? All you have to do is find ways to over-deliver on your clients’ basic expectations in each of the dimensions of product, service and personality. What specifically does that look like? Well I believe it will be different for every photographer and in every market, but let’s explore a few examples of how you can “up” your game in either your product, your service or your personality:

  • Be the best photographer that you can be.
  • Always be improving your photographic skills – what you produce for your client one year from now at their wedding should be better than the images they see in your portfolio today.
  • Don’t show your best work on your website, but instead reserve it for your in-studio consultation.
  • Give yourself 15% of your client’s session where you have complete creative freedom to make something unique and really special for them.
  • Don’t retouch your proofs, and only retouch the finished prints and products, this way they are seeing something new (and amazing) when they get them.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver on timelines.
  • Be deliberate about professionalism in your communication.
  • Conduct a design consultation and help them make decisions on their wall art.
  • Make yourself available via the phone for questions and to discuss ideas.
  • Send out newsletters with updates, examples and inspiration.
  • Be thorough in walking your client through the process of working with you – explain clothing suggestions, tell them about sizing recommendations, educate them about the differences between print finishing options, and so on.

These are just some basic ideas to get you started on delivering delight to your clients in the areas of product, service and personality. You can be creative in your own business and explore more ideas for implementation.

Delivering “surprises” to your clients

The next part of “delivering delight and surprise” to guarantee customer loyalty is to deliver “surprises” to your clients. Be intentional about injecting specific surprises at points throughout the customer experience.

Again, what you do specifically will be dependent on your market, your clients and your niche, but here are a few examples of how a wedding photographer might be able to deliver “surprises” to their clients:

  • Send a hand-written thank-you note after a bride and groom book you.
  • Mail a “date night” package to your bride and groom the month before their wedding, including an iTunes gift card with a few packages of popcorn.
  • Send flowers to your bride the week before the wedding with a note saying “Can’t wait for the wedding!”
  • Use Sticky Albums and send the bride and groom their own custom digital album for their phones the day after their wedding. Aside: if you’re not using Sticky Albums, you’re missing out BIG time!
  • Surprise the bride and groom with 5 of your favorite prints with their digital proofs. You might remember a blog post I wrote about how I do this here.
  • Include a package of chocolates with the wedding album when they pick it up.
  • Send a framed print and hand-written note on their 1-year anniversary.