by Courtney Tomey
When your clients are planning their wedding, they have hundreds of options of wedding photographers to choose from, and a list of factors to consider before they place their full trust in a studio for their wedding day. In our case, we are competing against thousands of Los Angeles wedding photographers, and even when a client has narrowed down their list and come to our studio for a meeting, we still have a lot of hurdles to overcome to not only book their wedding but to keep them as clients leading up to the wedding day. Especially during the time of COVID, when so many clients are being faced with the tough decision of cancelling their events, there’s even more pressure to retain clients and keep them loyal to your studio throughout the year-long process leading up to their big day and long after.
So, knowing that your clients have so many options when it comes to who they trust with their big day, how do you show your clients that they mean more to you than just a credit card transaction? How do they know once they sign that contract and leave your studio that you’re going to continue to keep them at top of mind and take care of them the way they hope their wedding vendors will? It’s extremely important that you give your clients a reason to feel confident that they’re now a part of your studio’s family, that they can trust you and see that you’ll treat them as more than just another wedding on your calendar.
This is where thank you cards come in. I know what you must be thinking, it can’t really be that simple, can it? Oh yes, my friend, it really can. Imagine you’re the client… you have a connection with a wedding photographer, great banter, they seem to understand everything you need and you feel confident handing over a chunk of change and leaving the future of your wedding photography in their hands. You walk out of the studio feeling confident and inspired, feeling good about making the right decision. And then months pass and you don’t hear another word from them until they need another payment from you or need you to schedule your engagement session. Suddenly, your confidence in the connection you made with your photographer starts waning and you’re wondering if you made the right decision.
Queue the thank you card. As soon as that client leaves your studio, off the heels of a great conversation and connection, you should be sitting down right away to write a heartfelt thank you to them for trusting you with their big day. Although this is just another work day for you, this is one of the most important decisions they’ll be making in their wedding planning, and you want to continue to inspire their trust and confidence in you by reminding them that they’re special to your studio and you’re keeping them at the top of mind until their wedding rolls around.
Thank you cards might seem old-school in a completely digital world, but that’s what makes them feel so special and causes them to create such an impact. Receiving something hand-written and physical in the mail means that someone took the time to think of you, sit down and write something
personal, address it, and drop it in the mail. This is already 100 times more personal than an email. Now, get back into the client’s shoes, and imagine receiving one of these heartfelt hand-written thank you’s every time you have a meaningful interaction with that company. This will certainly make you feel like you’re more than a dollar sign or a date on a calendar, you’ll feel like a valued part of their company, a VIP client, part of the family as we call it.
Showing our clients that they’re special to us, that we aren’t a faceless, impersonal corporation that’s just out for their money has considerably impacted not only the satisfaction of our clients over time, but has kept us afloat during a year that had the capacity to sink us. Because our clients have received timely, thoughtful, personal responses throughout the process, and because they value our relationship and feel valued by us, our clients have been much more receptive to switching out their big wedding day package to a more intimate bridal session with just them and their photographer. We’ve had clients tell us the only reason they haven’t called the wedding off entirely is that they’re too sad to miss out on the opportunity to let us capture amazing photos for them. We have a personal connection, a familial connection, with these couples… They see value in the relationship we’ve built.
“And all this from a thank you card?”, you ask? Of course creating and keeping a great relationship with your clients will take more than just one step, but the simple act of a thank you card is the first building block in the foundation of creating an amazing client experience. And the best part? All it costs is a few seconds of your time and a stamp.