01 November, 2017

6 STEPS TO HAVING THE BEST RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CLIENTS


Two posts in one week? I really hope I can keep this up and not leave you guys hanging for ages again! This week is actually a quiet one work wise, so I'm taking advantage of this downtime to catch up on admin, expenses and backing up drives before my next wedding shoot this weekend. It's also been really nice to catch up and read blogs again, yay. 

Since running my videography business for the last year and a half, I've worked with lots of different people. If you're a business owner or work for yourself in some way shape of form, I'm sure you know how important client relationships are. I've had my fair share of good and bad client experiences and I don't want to portray my business as perfect! I really hope this post is helpful and insightful when it comes to having the best relationship with your clients.

Have a clear brand and identity.

We all want to work with amazing clients and customers right, that's the dream when running a business. Having people who get you and what your brand is about. In reality, that's not so easy! In the early days my brand lacked focus and didn't have a clear message to the clients I wanted to work with. The moment a potential client sees your website/brand they're making their mind up about you and what your company can do for them. So make sure you're talking to the right audience!

There are loads of couples getting married all the time but I want to attract certain couples who suit my videography style and taste. It's really important they connect with my work and not just my prices or because I seem friendly (!) I make it clear on my website with the wording I use, tone of voice and imagery. Speak to your target audience and get to know their language. This will really help attract those amazing clients and customers you want!

Set expectations from the get go. 

One of the biggest challenges of working with clients is not meeting their expectations. You want to set their expectations from the first contact with you, so they're less likely to be disappointed. I know it's easy to assume people will just get the way you work but that's just not the case. Make it clear what they can expect from you and your style of work. If there are warning signs from their communication, feel free to walk away if nothing has been agreed or signed. I've had clients who kept negotiating my prices again and again. I decided to politely decline as I knew this could spell issues later on if they don't value my work and I felt we wouldn't be a good fit. It's ok to say no to clients who are not in line with your business values.
 
There will be times, when you don't meet client expectations or requests. It happens. I've had messages from brides saying they're disappointed with something, emails from a mother of groom who was disappointed with another issue as well as couples asking about missing clips. It makes me anxious when I know I've disappointed a client in some way but it happens unfortunately no matter how prepared you are. So the more you let them know up front, the better!

Protect yourself.

If it suits your business have a contract for every client you work with, state everything you think is relevant from payment terms, cancellation fees, working style to time line. Make sure you've covered yourself legally, I used Hello Sign, which is really easy online system to send documents electronically. If there are any issues further down the line, you can refer back to the contract.

Research is key. 

The more you know about your clients and their needs, the better relationship you'll have and less issues that may come up later on. Get to know as much as you can about your client/customers, ask questions. For me I make sure I understand my couples wedding style and vision, what's important to them, I research the venue, find out who the photographer is. The more insight you have the better! If you can meet up or speak with your client on the phone, it's better for your working relationship and how you'll work together. I really enjoy meeting up with couples as it's the best way to get to know them, find out what makes them tick and what I can offer.

Learn from your mistakes.

In my line of work, there are no refunds and I rely on good reviews and referrals so I always try and meet my client demands and keep them happy without compromising my work ethic. I've definitely learnt a lot since working for myself, it's not easy and even if you have a horrible experience, remain professional and move on. You can't please everyone, even how much you try.

Surprise and delight.

Under promise and over deliver. We wants unhappy clients? I know I don't, so the easiest way to make them happy is to surprise and delight them. I always deliver my client videos earlier than expected and they love it. I don't compromise my work and I know they are thrilled to receive their videos sooner rather than later. I also send a personalised package to say thank you. It takes a bit of time and effort but clients love it and it makes me happy too. If there are ways to delight your clients, then go for it!

Phew that was a long post! Thanks guys as always for reading, I really hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. I would really love to know how you deal with working with different clients and customers? Let me know if you have any other tips to share! 



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