When dealing with clients every little thing we do or don't do can affect whether or not they will refer us on to their friends or colleagues. The digital age not only helps us communicate and run our business but sometimes it is a hindrance to our ability to run a successful and personable business. Taking a step back and looking at the things you are doing currently and how they come across to your clients is your best form of action.
1. Make sure all your emails in your inbox are only work emails
Most of the time we sign up for websites that send us daily emails or deals, such as B&H, Amazon or any other site that you might peruse or enjoy. The problem with that is that those emails come to your work email, when they need to be separated. Having an email specifically for those types of things will allow you to focus on your work and get back to clients in a more timely manner. If you go into your email and you have a client inquiry and a fancy email that says 20% off all Canon refurbished gear then most likely you're going to click on the discount first. It's going to take you off topic and deter away from the time you could be responding to that inquiry. This also allows you to keep all your emailed receipts together in one email.
2. Take your email off your cell phone
I know crazy right? It's really not. We are all busy people, and the minute you check your email on your cellphone you become someone who is going to respond to that email in a busy manner. You might not think anything of the three minutes your checking your email in the line at Starbucks, but it increases the chances that you aren't going to respond in a complete way. Which, depending on your client, can really hurt your ability to land the job. Not responding to emails from your phone turns your two sentence response into a paragraph email where your client now says 'wow, I really like them." This will also allow you to run your own schedule better. If you allot yourself a specific time in the morning to check and respond to emails it allows you to concentrate on other things later in the day.
3. Add an automatic response in your email
This helps with number two. It allows you to not feel like you're missing something, even though you aren't checking your email every time you stop at a red light. Some people might think that it's pointless and overrated, but the minute a client sends you an email they get one back. This makes it so your name pops into their head again when they go to check their email later in the day. Even though you might have been on a shoot or at a wedding all day. Our automatic response is short sweet and to the point. It also lets clients know that they will get an email back within 24 hours, and should they not hear from us by then we would be grateful if they would email us again.
4. Send a thank you card
Yes, a hand written card. This can be after you book them, or after the whole job is finished. The minute you add a personal element it increases the likelihood that the client will have a better interaction and review of your business. It shows them that you took time out of your day to dedicate solely to them.
Okay, so maybe the list is not 100% free since you have to pay the dollar for the card and stamp, but it's worth the extra effort to make sure your clients feel like they are getting 100% of your attention. You might shoot 30 weddings a year or work on 5 major ad campaigns but they need to feel like they're the only client. One happy customer can turn into a lifetime of referrals.
I realize this was a short list of my customer service tricks, so I'd love to hear what you have regarding tips on how to keep your clients coming back! Drop me a comment below, or contact me via my website at http://www.valandsarah.com/.