If you’ve been here for a while, you know that I firmly believe that clear expectations are the absolute key to happy clients every time. But, to be completely transparent, setting expectations can only do so much. Think about it- if you set expectations and then… don’t meet them… you’ve really just set yourself up for failure. And if your expectations are something entirely different than your clients’ expectations and needs, you’re setting yourself up for failure there, too. So, what’s the best way to make sure you’re meeting realistic expectations that actually serve your clients and improve their experience?
By anticipating your clients’ needs before they even bring them to you!
We all want our clients to have the very best experience every single time, but if you’re not even sure what their pain points are, or what you can do to solve them, you’re always going to be on separate pages. You have to put yourself in the shoes of your client. Walk a mile in their louboutins, if you will (TikTok reference, anyone?). Look at things from their perspective. What might they be worried about? How might they feel about different aspects of this adventure they’re embarking on with you? Is there something they’re going to need help with, and how can you make yourself available to assist? Most of importantly (seriously- write this down), how can you do all this before they even have a chance to bring it up to you? Here are 5 easy ways to get started (plus a bonus tip because 🤪 I had to do it to em 😤)
Think: do you often get the same queries from customers over and over again? While you could find yourself tirelessly answering these questions individually, you could simply take a bit of time to create an FAQ page on your social media or website. Because oh my god, how satisfying is it for clients to have a question in their head and see it answered straight away as if we’d magically read their minds? Through an FAQs page, you can anticipate questions before they’re even asked, saving yourself tons of time, and making your client feel like “oh! They’ve really got a hang on this!”
2. Ask the clients!
Okay duhhhh…. By asking your previous clients for feedback, you could easily find out how you can improve your services. You never know, one of the clients could suggest a brilliant idea to enhance future experiences that you never even thought of.
3. Make a welcome packet or guide
A welcome packet can be a great idea. This makes the client confident that they’ve made the right decision hiring you right from the start. This could be something that tells the customer about your services and yourself, and it could lay down some expectations of delivery and communication. Let’s face it, customers love to know what’s going on once they book or buy – admit it, you’ve definitely hit ‘track package’ at least once…
4. Consider gifts or add-ons
Are you really providing your services to the best of your ability? There’s almost always something that you can do to improve that could add immediate value to your services. Pleasant little surprises don’t have to be big and fancy – even a cute email, letter, or small gift box of freebies could do wonders in showing your clients that you’re thinking about them. We all love to be thought of from time to time!
5. Offer suggestions
Some clients like receiving expert advice from professionals – everyone wants to be confident in their purchases! For example, as a photographer, you could predict that your clients need help figuring out where to have their engagement photos taken. It’s easy enough to provide them with advice, guiding them on your favorite locations for photos before they even ask. This tells clients that you know what you’re talking about and that they can place their trust in you – a feeling that everyone deserves.
A bonus tip, but my very favorite one: Exceed expectations every 👏 damn 👏 time 👏 We all love the pleasant surprise of being absolutely blown away. You can do this by providing freebies ahead of time, meeting deadlines earlier than expected, and dedicate a lot of time with the client to give additional support— before, during, and after the shoot.
Paying attention to customer needs is essential to giving out what the client both expects and deserves! Your clients will never be mad that you went ahead and thought of something for them, but can you say the same if you don’t? Listening closely and reading between the lines will give your photo business the boost it deserves every single time.
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