I was so fast asleep I was practically dead!
24 hours of traveling from Berlin to Bali had me in a virtual coma the instant my head hit the pillow.
All of a sudden I was ripped into a foggy consciousness by the sound of a whiney, disgruntled female voice.
She was just going on and on and on AND ON!!
I couldn’t block it out.
I had to open my eyes.
And when I did I saw my newly arrived, fresh off the plane Australian friend being harassed by the Balinese lady who manned the front desk of the villas we were to call home for the week.
She was shouting about a double booking and how Amy needed to pay for the other taxi.
Considering the fact that Amy had paid for the taxi she was in and never ordered another taxi to fetch her from the airport she was confused and stressed by her rude welcome to our villas.
Somehow wires had been crossed and the villas had sent a taxi without the necessary confirmation from Amy for the transfer from the airport. The desk lady was adamant that she must pay.
This was not a good first impression on our first day.
The Taxi mixup was eventually resolved. Later in the week we decided to take advantage of a rare sunny day and find a hotel that offered a day pass to the pool facilities. After a bit of online research we decided to head to the Royal Pita Mahai, a five star resort in the jungle just outside of Ubud.
Our arrival was a totally different experience. We were welcomed with a smile and given a cool, fresh towel scented with lemongrass to freshen up with. We were then offered a welcome drink and the receptionist explained their different packages and took us on a tour around the expansive hotel grounds to show us where the various pools were situated. We were totally blown away by the décor and gardens of this beautiful hotel, the attention to detail and the staff hospitality.
We were not only made to feel special, we were given an experience.
We told so many people about the Royal Pita Maha. We did however not recommend the villas to anyone nor would we! Word of mouth is a huge marketing tool that should never be underestimated!
This really got me thinking about the business of being a photographer.
What kind of welcome are you giving your clients?
What are you doing to make them feel special?
What kind of experience will they remember?
Will they remember you for your five star-service?
Here are some practical ways to make your client experience a better one as inspired by the Royal Pita Maha
- A sunny welcome goes a long way. We don’t work in the corporate world. Smile with your emails.
- Be approachable. Make things easy for your clients. Explain how you work and what your packages are.
- Make things beautiful and a pleasure to be in. This includes your website. If things look good and it’s easy to navigate their first impression will be better.
- Most people are getting married for the first time so if you want to serve them well, you will need to educate them about what you need in order to get great pics.
- Your clients wedding day must always be about them and not you and your ego.
- You are there to serve your clients and give them a beautiful experience.
- Always do your best and be a nice person. Say please and thank you!
- Don’t dress like a slob on shoot day and make sure you are groomed and looking like a five star photographer if you are wanting to deliver five star service.
- Compliment people. Make them feel safe in front of your camera. Make them feel special! But don’t be false.
- Under promise- Over deliver
- Give that extra little bit that isn’t expected. This can be a gift, beautiful packaging, staying on for longer than expected, giving them a hand written note, delivering images earlier than expected. When people receive an added bonus that wasn’t part of the package they will feel special! This will help your word of mouth marketing.
- Remember that failed expectations are the mother of all disappointments so make sure you deliver on your promises.
- Definitely don’t ever respond to any miscommunication if you are angry or upset. Take some time to cool down so you aren’t reacting from an emotional space.
- Please don’t write about your clients on social media if you’re upset. If you need to vent phone a friend you can trust.
And lastly remember that
- Humans want to feel safe
- Humans want to feel accepted
- Humans want to feel special