“We felt a disconnected relationship with the photographers. We felt our personalities were not highlighted the way most other weddings of theirs are. We feel this may be due to not having them get to know us better beforehand.
When The Schultzes know/are friends with their clients, it shows, the depth in their photography reaches epic levels and the emotion/passion is explored and documented beautifully. Unfortunately, we weren’t one of those lucky ones.” – Past bride
It was a few years ago that we decided to solicit feedback from our past wedding clients for the first time ever. The above quote was taken directly from one of the anonymous feedback submissions. There were two things that I felt when I read that. Number one – I was horrified. Absolutely horrified. The way that the couple felt was the exact opposite of what our company stands for and aims to deliver. I think I’m actually still horrified. Number two – I was truly surprised and completely caught off guard. I legitimately had NO idea that one of our couple’s had that experience with us. As we looked into it more and backtracked through our time that they were in our care, we began to uncover some of the possible reasons they were led to feel that way. Which then led us to make some changes to ensure that was never…ever…going to happen again.
Why You Need It
We put our heart and soul into this business, so of course, receiving such poor feedback felt altogether devastating and defeating. And yet, I was so grateful to have received it, as otherwise, I would have never become aware of an existing hole in our business that needed attention!
At the end of the day, as hard as it was to swallow less than amazing feedback, I wanted to know so I could make changes to improve. In fact, many of our business decisions have been shaped by the direct feedback we’ve received from clients.We are fiercely committed to providing an exceptional experience to our couples and we are always seeking specific ways to improve that experience. The satisfaction of our clients is more important to us than anything else. We’ll never be aware of existing problems that our couples experience unless we ask them and unless they tell us.
Receiving direct feedback from clients allows us to:
How to Get It
In June, we send a request for feedback to our outgoing couples whose wedding has taken place January-June. In December, we do the same for the couples who have wed July-December. As you think about implementing a system into your own business to collect client feedback, here are a few things to consider.
1. Choose a platform. We use Wufoo to collect feedback from our clients, but there are many other options (some are free!): Survey Monkey, Google Forms, Typeform, Zoho Survey, to name a few.
2. Offer an incentive. To encourage your clients and to thank them for taking the time to complete your survey, you might consider offering a small incentive for them to do so. We offer each couple either a $10 giftcard to Starbucks or a $25 product credit to be used in their engagement or wedding online galleries. Obtaining direct feedback from those we have served has been more than worth this expense.
3. Allow for anonymity. What’s most important to us when collecting client feedback is that we are collecting honest answers to our questions. If a client had a less than optimal experience, I want to ensure there is a way for them to give us critical and candid feedback without having to reveal their identity, which they can do through the survey program.
4. Keep it brief, simple and to the point. What you ask should be easy to answer and shouldn’t take up much time for your clients to complete. With that said, ask open ended and specific questions. Avoid asking questions that will get you information that you don’t need or won’t use.
5. Send a personal email. We’ve found that sending our outgoing clients a warm, friendly email, while clearly defining why we are requesting their feedback, generally yields a greater response. We make sure to communicate how much we value their input and how it will be useful to us.
Bonus – How to Use It
What will you do with the data you collect?
Of course, setting aside some time to review and analyze the feedback you receive will be important if you want this process to be worth your while. The question that is most important to us and that we pay the closest attention to is, “What can we do to improve?”. We take the answers to this question very seriously and use it to make decisions to improve the experience that future clients will have with our company.
We’ve put together a FREE resource to help you get this process of collecting client feedback started. It includes:
To access it, download it right here!
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So, so good, Cheyenne! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing! What a helpful resource – so excited to use it. How did you respond to the client who gave the negative review?
I’m so happy to hear it, Caroline! Actually, I didn’t respond to the client, as it was a delicate situation. I knew which client it was, but since it was anonymously submitted, it was tricky.