Wedding Photography - The Importance of Customer Service
"If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will"
I came to the realization that I needed to write about the importance of customer service after reading about the experience a couple of clients had with two photographers. It is out of character for me to judge, but I was left surprised and speechless at the fact that things like this still happen today. If you would like to read these two articles you can find them here and here.
We run into customer service on a daily basis. From purchasing our morning cup of coffee to the phone call we make to resolve a billing issue, to the dinner we will enjoy in our favorite restaurant. Customer service is found almost everywhere. "If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will." This is probably the most well known quote regarding customer service. We've all experienced that fantastic customer service representative and that one that was a complete nightmare.
"Customer service is as important, if not more important than the quality of the photographs you present to your client"
In the wedding photography business, as in every business, customer service starts with the very first contact you have with the client. However, it does not end once the event has been photographed or the services specified in the contract have been completed. A couple that has had a wonderful experience with the photographer they have hired to capture their wedding day memories can become clients for life. In the following years, they may want to have family portraits taken and most likely when their first child arrives. These days the competition for wedding photographers is very high, therefore your customer service MUST be at its highest standards. I have frequently read that your response time to a client inquiry should not take longer than 24 hours. Personally, my answer to response time would be as soon as humanly possible. This means that I must answer my phone whenever it rings and reply to an email in as little as a couple of hours. I always try to place myself in the client's shoes. No one likes or wants to wait days, even weeks, to receive responses to their questions.
We all know that bad news travels faster than good news. A bad experience that a client has had with a wedding photographer could essentially ruin the photographers career. How can a photographer with a bad reputation caused by bad customer service ever be trusted with capturing a couple’s forever memories? For example, what does it say about a photographer that sends his clients their wedding photos 8 years after the special day happened?
I would like to close with a quote from one of the most appreciated wedding photographers, Cliff Mautner: "Customer service is as important, if not more important than the quality of the photographs you present to your client." I practice this quote in every interaction I have with my clients.
Keywords: Chicago Wedding Photographer, Chicago Wedding Photography, Photojournalist, Portrait Photographer, Professional Photographer
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