Freelance Photographers: Sharpen Your Customer Service Skills
by Liat Behr
Virtually anyone with a bit of talent can succeed in the freelance photography business, but not everybody will. Talent and creativity are not enough. You have to be ready to turn your talent into a business with the skills and thinking necessary to run any business.
In this post, I’m going to give you some tips about how you can provide exceptional customer service, which is an important component toward building a successful freelance photography business.
You’re never too small to worry about customer service
Customer service begins with your very first client and can pave the way to customer satisfaction. It is so important because happy customers are capable of building your business and your brand and because the profitability and sustainability of your business will be difficult to achieve without their satisfaction.
So what can you, as a freelance photographer, do to provide excellent customer service?
Let your customers know what your standards are
As a professional photographer you know that there are some things that won’t change, for example - an 8x10 photo will always be an 8x10 photo.
That’s why it’s important to change things where you can, especially if those things can make you stand out from the competition.
But it’s not enough to set yourself apart in your mind, you have to set yourself apart in the mind of your clients.
Standing behind your word and your obligations may seem obvious to you. But take nothing for granted. Let your clients know what they can expect from you. And then find a way to exceed those expectations, by doing more than you’ve obligated yourself to.
If you’ve set a deadline with a client make sure you deliver on your promise. Missed deadlines can easily be translated to mean irresponsible.
Also make sure that you let your clients know how to reach you. And when they do, be responsive and kind. Be attentive and provide a personal touch.
Exceptional customer service could also mean that after you’ve finished a photo shoot or have sent a client their photos, you also send out a customer service questionnaire. This will give clients the ability to let you know how great your service was or perhaps where you need to improve.
Your level of business success depends on the level of your customers’ satisfaction
Providing exceptional customer service is a wonderful way of building rapport with your clients and will enable you to write a great case study in which prospective clients can learn about your fun photography sessions, professional photos, and outstanding customer service, ultimately bringing you more clients.
The success of your photography business depends on the level of your customers’ satisfaction. If customers are merely satisfied, they may leave if someone else with better service or prices comes along. But if they’re thrilled with your service they’ll stick with you even if they’re paying premium prices.
Deadline - Let your clients know that you stand behind your word. Never ever miss a deadline.
Expectations - Exceed expectations by giving more than you promised.
Your client should know what channels your available to be reached through. Examples include: phone, e-mail, your website, social media
Be attentive and do your best to answer your clients needs swiftly and professionally.
Feedback - Send out a client questionnaire. Provide your clients with the ability to share their customer experience.
Trello is great time tool that will help you track your workflow and ensure that you never miss a deadline.
Highrise - communication and customer service made easy with this nifty tool
Survey Monkey will help you build your questionnaire with its question bank and survey templates.
Written by Liat Behr
Liat is a content wordsmith at WiseStamp and copywriter at Ink of Imagination. She delights in creating and sharing valuable tips and helping businesses craft effective content.
When she’s not writing content, she can be found in the world of fiction, embarking on adventures with her characters.