How Is Your Service to Clients?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by bill_clark___minnetonka_minnesota, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Just for your Info:

    Here is an order I sent in today to WHCC (It will be at my door tomorrow):

    10:38 am
    Order Received

    11:13 am
    In Production

    3:17 pm
    Order Packaging

    4:02 pm
    Prepared for Shipping

    6:00 pm

    These are Trifold 5x5 Christmas Cards.

    Are we giving the same service to our clients?

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a very prosperous 2010!
  2. i don't get what you are saying?
    i don't give a hour by hour update to my client regarding their stuff's shipping status..that to me would be more annoying than anything.
  3. Today's mantra for photography service is: "Better, cheaper, faster".....according to David Ziser. I'm afraid that many people feel that "two out of three ain't bad".....but let's aim for three out of three :)
  4. Happy Holidays David!
    Nice weather.
    David Ziser has a good pulse on the wedding industry.
    I'm going to see my friend Doug Box in February. Many of the same traits as David Z.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
  5. Happy Holidays back at you. Yes, the weather is lovely week I'll be enjoying the temps in Moscow for a couple of days and then a few more days in Siberia. Nice timing, huh? I'll likely be taking a break from posting most of the week as well.
  6. Hi Bill, I believe that good service is about keeping your promises and exceeding your client's expectations. For me it is not, and never will be, about speed. My Contracts state the expected timescales for delivery of proofs and products, since my service is entirely bespoke. I think many labs have a fast turnaround for promotional and marketing materials, which is good business, but my customers would never blame me for 'bad service' if their goods are not churned out in a week.
    David - remember to pack lots of thermals - brrrrr!!
    Best wishes to you both for a healthy and prosperous 2010.
  7. Not sure exactly what you're on about Bill. Are you posting to the world the fact that you have a quick turn around time for ordering prints or whatever? That's just one very small, but important, part of customer service. Getting these quick turn arounds is not a problem at many places, so I fail to see your point.
  8. I think his point is that he was able to track the status at all stages. Maybe photographers could do something similar with email notifications saying :
    • Images are transferred
    • RAW images have been processed
    • Bad/Blurred/Duplicate images have been removed
    • Post processing/cropping/adjustments done
    • Prints ordered
    • DVD sent
    • Lower res images uploaded
    That way clients know whats going on.
  9. I share the view that there is value in keeping clients updated and in the loop at appropriate stages of production, but I'd suspect most people would be doing that already, as it's the basis of healthy client care.
    But otherwise, my point of view is the same as Lindsay's. Speed is the least important goal in my business.
    It's easy to lead with speed of service as a goal if your product requires little customisation or is based on automation. But it's much harder if your product is labour-intensive, or deeply customised to the client. I suggest it's important for everyone to have a real understanding of which type of business they're in, and set their expectations of service time to ensure a realistic match to their expectations of service quality.
    My philosophy is to aim high and deliver higher. Anyone can deliver quickly - it's the easiest thing in the world. But delivering the right thing quickly is much harder. And delivering a superlative thing quickly is even harder still.
    So my delivery schedule is calibrated to include the time necessary to make clients happy. I'm not interested in making them happy tomorrow because they got it quickly. My goal is that they're happy in thirty years, because they got something that was perfect.
  10. One email saying my order is being worked on, and one saying it's ready would be fine. I already waste too much time sorting through emails. I don't need or want multiple emails saying my order isn't ready yet , and that's how I will interpret the 2nd through 6th emails saying my order is being worked on.
  11. We can all run our businesses however we wish. I presented this as a way I use to keep communicating with my clients. They like this. The above information in my first post was sent with one e mail. I find clients who have expensive albums and/or prints such as gallery wraps and other large items are happy to receive this information.
    This was a Christmas card order and the client was happy with the information. The order is being delivered to my studio in a couple of hours. I know this from using the tracking # with UPS.
    Happy & Prosperous 2010 to all.
  12. WHCC is well known for their service, as are several other lab / printing services.
    And yes - hour by hour is probably overkill for most clients, but in this case it made sense - showing Bill where his order was at each step of the way.
    Something for us all to strive for in 2010.
    Bill - have a safe trip. And Happy Holidays to all!
  13. Idea: Show this status on a web page, and track the number of hits per client. If they're checking the page every 5 minutes, you can prioritize their photos. Someone who checks less frequently can be prioritized lower.
  14. You know how has a status tracker - well, it's nice, but it usually ends with me obsessing over whether my order has gone out for delivery yet as I'm probably pretty hungry to have ordered that pizza, but it doesn't end with me calling to check with the store. Food for thought.
    In today's economy everyone wants orders tomorrow, at a discount, with free delivery. If you won't offer it, someone else will and they'll probably have a smart sales rep that goes door to door after the rest of your customers - the time for riding high horses is over, getting down and dirty and to work is most important.
    There’s an old Japanese saying; “We don’t call un kept “dead-line” a “dead-line” ---Very philosophical yet mind boggling, if you think about it---
  15. I just read through this thread and threw up a little bit in my mouth. This practice is so pretentious and it really takes the attention away from quality, not toward it. A quality product is delivered on time, and it's done right. If it's delivered on time, it doesn't matter at what time the order was processed, or completed, or packaged, or shipped. Even if the product is late, it doesn't matter what the hourly status was late in the end. Either way, if a client's time is money, why waste it by interrupting their work multiple times a day with pointless updates?
    A new trend that I thoroughly hate nowadays is that whenever I order something online, I get a messy trail of 8-10 emails over the course of 4 hours detailing who received the order when, and when the order was submitted to UPS, and when UPS received it, etc. This gets really messy when I order 10 things in one day. Then I've got 6 dozen emails to sift through as I delete pointless spam from multiple vendors with whom I am willingly doing business. It's obnoxious. I need 1 and exactly 1 confirmation. You say "order received" and advise when delivery is expected. Product arrives as promised, and no problems. If the product is late, though, I'm on the phone chewing someone out.
  16. Hal B, I agree with you totally. At least here in the UK we are not bombarded with multiple emails confirming the status of an order. I wouldn't regard hourly, or multiple daily updates as "customer service", but rather "customer annoyance". I simply tell a client approximately how long it will take to deliver the goods, then try my utmost to deliver slightly sooner than that. We're all happy then. If I were on the receiving end of this, I would politely ask the photographer to stop spamming me and just let me know when the order is complete. But, as Bill says, we can all run our businesses as we wish.....
  17. "I just read through this thread and threw up a little bit in my mouth."
    Hope you didn't swallow it.
    Maybe keep a waste basket and/or sink nearby your computer.
    Happy Holidays & To A prosperous 2010.

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