There is nothing like planning a wedding to bring out the anxious in an otherwise calm and carefree bride or groom. I can attest to that – I just got married in early March, and the whole process definitely brought out the crazy in me. I thought I had an easy time of it, too, because I used to be a wedding photographer (I closed my business just last year.)
In hindsight, and after much reflection, I have learned some things about brides and grooms that I would have loved to have known when I was a photographer. These can and should apply to any wedding vendor. There are countless websites and programs that teach all about social media marketing, what you should put on your website, and how you should design your logo to get more business. But there are few, if any, that teach what you should do after you’ve booked the wedding to make sure you have happy clients and will get glowing reviews.
A 2013 study conducted by Dimensional Research found that clients who experience something they perceive as negative are 50% more likely to share it on social media than those who had a good experience.
Here are 4 things you can do after booking a wedding to create a client who will rave about you:
#1 Communicate, communicate, communicate
The number one most divisive issue between the vendors we were most thrilled with and the ones that made us less happy was communication. Having been in the industry, I understand that sometimes it’s a very long wait between booking a bride and their actual wedding, but you should find some way to communicate with her at least every other month, if not every month. A short thank you note in the mail, a quick check-in email, or even forwarding a blog post or article goes a long way. At the very least, answer within 48 hours of an email, of not sooner.
It was easier for me knowing that that’s how things work in the wedding industry, but for a bride who has no idea how things are done, this can make an enormous difference in both their happiness during wedding planning and their satisfaction with you (which may show later on in reviews and testimonials.) She wants to know you are still in business, still excited about her wedding, and still going to show up.
#2 Listen to what the couple wants
Another big one for us was that some of the vendors didn’t listen to our instructions and wishes. I genuinely did have fun at my wedding, but the more time passes, the more things I remember that didn’t turn out as I had envisioned and I focus more on those things than the happiness of the wedding itself.
If a couple tells you something they want, and its realistic, make it happen. Not only will you wow them if you do, but if you don’t, that will be the one thing they remember about you, regardless of what a fantastic job you did otherwise. Managing their expectations is key here.
#3 Do what you promise
This goes hand-in-hand with the point above, but its important enough to call out on its own: if you promise a couple you will do something, it should be done unless there is a very good reason you can’t, and in that case you need to tell them why as soon as possible. This happened to us from more than one vendor, and when the time came to write reviews for them, guess what the first thing to come to my mind was? (Hint: it was not how awesome they were at everything else!)
#4 Do NOT be grouchy to wedding guests
One of our vendors was apparently not in the best mood on our wedding day, and we had several people come up to us at the wedding and tell us how grouchy this particular vendor was being. To top it off, this person was then less than pleasant to my husband, the person paying them! Your clients are paying you to provide happy and cheerful service during their wedding, so at least pretend to be in a good mood.
Bonus: Do not, under any circumstances, actually ask for a tip, especially if you are the grumpy vendor in question.
To sum it up
The very essence of getting more clients in the wedding industry is word of mouth and referrals. Your goal should be to blow each and every couple out of the water with your service, such that they can’t help but shout your praises from the rooftops. Out of all of the vendors we had at our wedding, I can say that that holds true for only three of them.
What can you do to step up your game and create client evangelists?
Alyssa Johnson is a Virtual Assistant specializing in helping wedding vendors and creative professionals book more clients, save money, and get their life back by taking care of marketing and administrative tasks. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two Labradors.