It is so exciting to book a new client! All the creative possibilities and the privilege of helping them create their dream wedding day is amazing. Sometimes, this relationship can turn sour and the client decides to sever the relationship.
Why does this happen? And how can we avoid it?
The quickest way to create an unhappy client is for them to have unmanaged expectations. The first thing that should happen when you are hired as their wedding planner is an onboarding process that educates them on what to expect. From your operating hours, to how long your response time is, to whether you communicate best through calls, emails, or texts.
If a couple is clear on your business boundaries, procedures, what you do, what you do not do, and exactly what services they are purchasing, they are less likely to be unhappy during the time they are working with you as their wedding planner.
Once we are entrusted with planning someone’s wedding, they will expect to hear from you. If they leave you a message and your business policies said your response time is within 48 hours but it takes a week for you to respond, they will be annoyed and start to question your ability.
Even though their questions are not a 911 issue to you, this is their wedding and their questions are a priority to them. Make sure you have a clear expectation set about your response times and adhere to those expectations. This builds trust and rapport with your clients, even those who are high maintenance couples.
The wedding planner-client relationship often turns into a friendship. I have a number of couples who I have developed life-long friendships with, and it is amazing.
Even though you can love your clients and want to be friends with them long after the big day, make sure that your professional relationship remains professional during the contract period. If you start treating a client like a friend, it blurs the lines and can make them feel like they are not getting a professional service. It can also make you feel pressured to do more work than you were contracted for, which can lead to resentment on your part.
I am all about setting boundaries with clients about office hourse and response times, but having super restrictive hours can be a turn-off to clients.
As wedding planners, our clients are often only available in the evenings and on weekends due to their work schedules. If you close at 5PM every day without any flexibility, that does not give them many options to utilize your services. Think of your ideal client when setting your business hours and consider offering evening and weekend hours by appointment. Make your work hours convenient to your schedule without making yourself available 24/7.
Anyone who has hired you has the expectation that you and your staff will be skilled, professional, and able to execute what your wedding planning company has promised. Your staff should be a reflection of you, your reputation, and your companies’ mission and values. Otherwise, the clients will be disappointed and possibly choose to fire your company.
Make sure that your staff is well-trained and knowledgeable about your clients and their weddings. This will make the client experience seamless and enjoyable.
These five things are very common ways to lose clients after they have booked your wedding planning services. Use this list to audit your business, policies, procedures, and staff to create an amazing client experience that will leave them raving fans.
This is a guest post from Amber Peterson. Amber is the owner of Cheers Consulting Group in western Washington. She has a Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and consults with wedding professionals about their marketing and business challenges. Amber is also the co-founder of the Skagit Wedding Society.
Pricing With Confidence: Secrets to Profitable Pricing & Services for Professional Wedding Planners is a comprehensive guide with templates and worksheets that give you the tools and information needed to confidently offer profitable and sustainable wedding planning packages and pricing.
This guide is ideal for both new and experienced wedding planners who want to understand pricing methods and techniques. This guidebook is also perfect for wedding planners who want to save time by having ready-to-use templates for planning packages, examples of website wording, and a professional spreadsheet to rely on for calculating prices for weddings and events.