Your amazing client experience cannot come to a halt simply because they’ve already paid you. It’s essential to extend your customer service well beyond the financial transactions to show your clients how much you care.
Along with the last 4 parts of this series, you can continue to create a kick-ass client experience by means of your product delivery. Here’s how:
1. Under-promise and over-deliver.
If you’ve done your job right, you’ve already let your clients know how long their album/wall art/prints, etc, will take to be printed and delivered. Do yourself and your client a solid and give them a date estimate that is the longest possible turnaround time (plus a cushion). Then, you’ll be the hero and they will be pleasantly surprised when their products are in EARLY.
Lack of communication on turnaround times can be SO devastating to a client’s perspective of the way they were treated and the level of organization you execute. Keep them in the loop, don’t give them an unreasonable turnaround time promise, and get your orders submitted within 24 hours of your client placing their order. Under-promise. Over-deliver. ALWAYS.
2. Choose your products wisely.
This bullet point should have been included in an earlier installment of this series, but offering a product line that you are proud of, and that reflects the amount of money your client is spending with you, is important. Your albums should stand the test of time and look awesome. Your prints should be far nicer than what they could print on their own. Your line should offer something unique that not just anyone could get.
3. Make it pretty.
Your product line should reflect your brand, should be aesthetically pleasing (this IS art, after all!), and should leave your client feeling like their purchase was worth every penny. Charging $900 for a photo book you paid $20 for, and presenting it to your client in the cardboard shipping box it came in is simply unacceptable and will leave your clients feeling cheated.
Does this mean you have to invest in packaging? Yes. This cost needs to be factored into your per-client budget and should be a contributing factor in setting your prices. The amount you spend on your product presentation isn’t necessarily the sole indicator of how well it works for you, though. Spend wisely and make sure that what you are handing your client is something that represents your branding well, and that it is something both you and your client will be proud of.
My brand aesthetic is encompassed with black and white with hints of metallic, clean lines, and an upscale feel. So I choose to deliver my digital files on crystal hard-drives with my logo laser etched into them, a black satin ribbon tied around albums (which are great quality), placed in a re-useable branded tote bag. The same black ribbon is tied around wall-art and prints. My thank you cards are ultra-thick luxe cards that are branded and obviously personalized.
If your brand is rustic chic, opt for twine and feathers. If your brand is industrial, look into metal album and print boxes. Your packaging is an extension of your brand, please don’t forget that.
4. Include a thank you.
Thank you cards are a HUGE deal. When I shop at a high-end store (which isn’t too often), I LOVE that I get a little hand written note with my shoe or handbag purchase. It’s a small touch that only took a few moments, but makes me want to come back. Your thank you cards should be branded. Your note should NOT be the same for each and every person. I also have recently made it a practice to include a self-printed polaroid snapshot of the client and I with my thank you cards (that I take at the end of their shoot). I often get emails or texts from my clients of a picture they took of my thank you card and their picture with me tacked up on their refrigerator or cork board. It MEANS something to them.
In addition to the thank you card, I will also put some chocolates in the bag as well as either of tube of lipstick or a gift card for a blow out to a local blow dry bar to keep their newfound (or newly improved) self-esteem going. My clients, on average, spend about $4000 with me…so a $50 gift is not out of the question. Your thank you gift can be adjusted to fit your average sales if you prefer…but even a small token can mean the world to them.
5. Take some time to chat.
When your client comes in to pick up their products (or when you drop them off), take a few minutes to catch up with them. Ask them how things have been going since the shoot. Ask if their significant other, if applicable, suspects anything. Find out what their plans are for their products. Have some snacks and beverages while chatting. Don’t make them feel like you are just trying to close a transaction and get on with your life.
So what if you don’t hand-deliver your products?
If your client lives out of town and you have to ship products to them, I HIGHLY encourage you to have the product shipped to you first, if possible. That way, you are able to still wrap their products up as you typically would and they can still experience your awesome customer service. Of course, this will mean a slightly longer turnaround time and more of shipping expense for you…but that, to me, is as a small price to pay for stellar customer service. Your client is worth it. Just remember to fully educate them on turnaround times (and don’t forget to under-promise and over-deliver!).
ALSO, set a reminder for you to call the day after their products arrive to still have that chat with them! Make sure they got everything ok, and see how they like everything! A client who has actually TRAVELED to shoot with you certainly should not receive any less service because they don’t live locally.
What are some of your favorite ways to offer an awesome experience with your product delivery? Leave them in the comments and let’s elevate the industry together!
Thanks for tuning in to installment 5 of this 6 part series. If you’re a bit behind, here are the easy links to catch up on how to create a kick-ass client experience throughout your entire boudoir process!
Part I: Your Website
Part II: Inquiry and Booking Process
Part III: The Shoot
Part IV: The Reveal