How do you improve your customer service as a photographer?
I'm glad you asked because that's what this blog post is all about. If you're looking to up your game and provide exceptional customer service to your clients then read on! As a photographer, customer service is the key to your success. You'll want to make sure that your customer's experience with you is fun, friendly, and professional. They may be looking for someone who can give them great photos AND provide these qualities in return! Many people wonder how to improve their customer service as a photographer. This blog post will provide you with some tips on how to go about it with your photography business. Many photographers are out there trying to be the best at their craft by providing great photos for their clients. But how can they go above and beyond with good photography skills alone? Customer service is one way of doing so. With these tips and tricks, we can all learn from each other and grow as photographers together!
Before the consultation
The first thing that comes up with customer service is getting potential clients in contact with the right person. If someone has an inquiry about booking a shoot or wants more information, they should be able to reach out directly without having any trouble figuring out whom they should talk to: either yourself personally or someone within your company. Your website and social media pages should have clear points of contact. If this is missing then you could easily lose that client in an instant! Multiple studies show us that when people are looking for information, they only retain about half the data before moving on to something else- so it's crucial to make them engage with what captivates your brand right away or risk losing potential customers forever. Multiple studies have repeatedly shown that you have 500 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to capture that client before they walk away.
The first step to creating a successful photography website is by looking at other successful photography websites. The layout of these sites can be used as inspiration for your site design, but don't just copy them wholesale! Instead, take away ideas from each one and use those to create something unique yet powerful enough to convince them that they need to hire you. People remember you when they come back again tomorrow or next week because you made an impact on them when they first visited your website.
Be professional - Provide prompt responses (within 1 hour if possible. If not 24 hours should do) when they're trying to make initial contact with you. That way your client feels valued and taken care of! Also, keep in mind that time is of the essence. They there are photographers on every street corner these days. Competition is extremely high. While you're sitting on a lead. They are contacting other photographers, getting consultations, and booking within just a few hours. Technology has expedited that process. Yes, you may tell yourself that you didn't want to hire them because they weren't sold on just you. However, unless you are one of the rare photographers that are booked nearly every day 2 years out. Then you may need these filler bookings just to pay your bills. Don't let your competition swipe clients just because you couldn't simply respond to an email or text. If you don't have the time to do so. Then you are so busy that you probably don't need any of this advice. You're probably on the right track then.
Now, these are going to be situational. Several of these require you to either be in person or via zoom. However, if you are on the phone then you will be limited in what tips here you can use to help with working with your clients.
To have a successful photoshoot consultation with your clients, it is important that you greet them by name and ask how they are doing or what their day has been like so far. Smile while speaking in an upbeat tone of voice! Make eye contact when talking about the type of photoshoot ideas we could do together- this will help create a relationship and rapport with your client. This will help with poses for your pictures without any awkwardness on either side during shooting time because there won't be shy looks exchanged between ourselves as well as towards each other's camera lenses."
The consultation is a pivotal moment in the process. Listen to what your clients want. It's important to listen, not interrupt your client while they are talking. This can help better understand their needs/wants for this particular shoot. You should start off asking questions related to their previous experiences getting professional photos which may shed light on some things like lighting styles desired during shoots, poses, and what they like and don't like out of their photographer. Going through your portfolio may help with this, or maybe they have images that they have seen that they would like to recreate. It is all about getting to know their tastes and seeing if you can provide them with what they need, or if they should go with another photographer. This can be a tough call but can save you many headaches in the future.
This is also a time I like to feel out the vibe or chemistry with the client(s). If you feel like there would be a conflict or tension between you two. Then you may be better off recommending another photographer that you think they would work well with. This can help you get clients from that other photographer and save you from bad reviews and headaches.
Another thing that should be brought up during the consultation is locations and props. Location can easily make or break a photo shoot. The same can be said about props. Make sure to bring these topics up during the consultation. Make sure it is a location that either of you is familiar and comfortable with and that they are aware of any possible travel expenses related to that location. Being as open and honest as possible will go a long way with your clients. It builds trust and creates repeat clients. Also, decide on how the props are going to work with the shoot. Are you buying them? Are you charging them for the cost of the props? Are you charging a rental fee for the props? Is it a flat fee for all props or an individual fee per prop? It's best to come up with answers to these questions before bringing this up to your clients. That way you are prepared and not caught off guard.
Offer a variety of packages that may suit what they are looking for. Now, this may not apply to all photographers. Due to the evolution of technology and photos moving to almost exclusively digital. Many will offer services and free digital downloads with copyrights. Which will allow them to print as many of whatever photos they wish. However, if you want to make more money by selling copies. Then you should go through and prepare packages for your clients before meeting them. Again, it's important to be overprepared beforehand than to be underprepared and not have answers for your clients.
Leading up to the photoshoot
Photoshoots are a lot of fun, but it's important to be organized in advance. Leading up to your photoshoot you should gather any props discussed and have an open door policy so they feel comfortable coming forward with anything photography-related that may come up. Scout out locations you have not worked in order for you and your clients to feel more secure with their choice of location. Look around the location before deciding which one works best by practicing on whatever objects or situations might work well there - this will give creative ideas when needed! This will help you with our next point of developing a shot list. A shot list will help keep you focused on what your goals should be and even allow for more creativity because you now know you are getting the important shots. Finally, make sure to touch base with them before the shoot to confirm all details discussed and that there won't be any conflicts that have come up.
During the photoshoot
The key to getting the perfect photo is being prepared and knowing your surroundings. Make sure that there is a shot list before getting started so that there are no surprises once we start shooting. Be on time - If something comes up later than expected (like if traffic was bad) then let them know as soon as possible with what happened by calling or texting ahead of time- never late even if they say it's ok because everything takes longer when dealing with other people’s schedule changes. Finally don't forget to bring the props you discussed. All of the preparation from the consultation and the time leading up to the photoshoot should make everything run smoothly. This is the part that you should have fun with. Maybe even play some music. The more fun you and the couple have. The better they feel. The better they feel. The better their reviews and the more they come back to you and they recommend you to their friends and family. So relax and have fun.
After the photoshoot
After the photoshoot, be available to answer any questions or concerns they may have. Send them a thank you card with some photos from their event! Photographers are always looking for new ways to build their business. One way is by paying attention and remembering what you love about your clients, so when it's time for another photoshoot or event give them an opportunity they can't resist! Give discounts for referrals and repeat customers as well; these are all great ways of generating positive word-of-mouth advertising that helps grow your customer base in no time at all. After every shoot provide quality prints and digital copies as well as products that will last. Send out thank-you cards with photos taken at their event.
As a photographer, customer service is imperative. Your customers want to feel confident in your abilities
Try to streamline your website, be professional and respond as quickly as possible, be respectful, and listen to what they want in their photos. Organize locations and props so that they feel confident in your abilities as a photographer. Have open lines of communication with them before the shoot day arrives. Prepare with a shot list. Relax and have fun during the shoot while trying out different poses or backgrounds together if it makes sense for their needs - but don't push anything too hard! Finally provide quality work after the shoot. Just doing a handful of these things will help clients feel more confident in your abilities as a photographer. You’ll close on more clients and get more referrals due to the quality of service you are providing to your clients.
Thank you for reading
Owner and Photographer for Dettman Photography
Northwest Indiana Wedding Photographer and Chicago Wedding Photographer