We’ve been running a photography business for over 10 years now and we have learned over the years, that building lasting relationships with our clients is KEY for the success of our business. It not only means that our clients will return year after year securing business for us, but it also means that happy, returning clients will be that much more likely to refer you to others as well! So our number one focus is always on building those strong and positive client relationships right from the very first point of contact. Have we always done this perfectly? No. Especially during the craziest seasons when I was running all aspects of the business on my own while trying to raise children as well. But have we noticed a difference when we’ve made strong client relationships our first priority?! Absolutely. So here are 4 of the things that we have found to really be effective for client retention:
01. Prompt and Ongoing Communication
It’s important that your customers feel that they are valued by you! This means not having them wait a whole week for an email response. You want to make sure that you are on your A game when it comes to getting back quickly! Does this mean you have to drop everything to get back to an email that comes in? No it doesn’t.. With a young family, and other responsibilities we also have to set boundaries with our business. We typically have a 24 response rate unless it’s something timely then we’ll bump it to the top of our list. It helps us personally to have a designated time each day that we get back to emails and we do our best to not open them outside of that time slot. This not only ensures that we’re not missing anything but it also means that we’re getting back to clients promptly.
02. Client Focused Approach - make it all about them!
You want to make your customer feel like they are gold. Go out of your way to go above and beyond and we promise you won’t ever be sorry you did! When we shoot weddings, we spend the entire day with our clients! We try our best to do everything we can to make them feel like they’re so cared for. Sometimes we’ll show up with Starbucks, we grab them water bottles on the hottest days, make sure they’re comfortable, and the have FUN with them! When we shoot engagements and family sessions, we love to ask lots of questions and allow our client’s to feel that we’re genuinely interested in THEM! This makes all the difference in how they’ll recall their experience with you!
03. Quick Turn around and Quality Product
When we were shooting a full season of weddings, one of the things that we prided ourselves in was our fast turn around rate! Our clients were often shocked when we told them they’d get their photo galleries back within 3-4 weeks as a lot of our competitors were more in the 6-10 week range for turn around. This automatically set us apart from a lot of others and it was one of the things that our clients would then rave about to friends and family. And of course, you want to make sure you’re delivering a quality product. If there is room for improvement with your skill, keep learning and practicing until you have it perfected, then be CONFIDENT in what you do and do it well!
04. Capture Feedback and Improve
This part is something we’ve only implemented in more recent years but it’s definitely beneficial to collect testimonials and also understand if there’s anything you can improve on from the client’s perspective. This can be done by sending out a short survey or asking your clients to review your business on google etc., You want to always be striving to take your business to the next level and what better way to do this than to get honest feedback from those who have experienced your service!
Well there you have it! Those are our 4 tips for building strong client relationships which will ensure they’ll want to return for business, year after year. Thanks so much for reading!