TEN EASY WAYS TO AVOID PISSING OFF BRIDES AND OTHER CLIENTS

10 ways to avoid pissing off angry brides

(Image via Lucia..)

I never ever forget that without my brides and other clients, I simply would not have a business. Even if you have the very best talent and service, it’s meaningless without clients. So happy clients are my very top priority. But, in order to have happy clients, I have to know not only what makes them happy but also what pisses them off!

Follow my top ten tips for happy clients, and I promise you’ll get yelled at a lot less:

1. Get back to clients in a timely matter. Even if you’re busy with other projects, clients should always feel like they’re your #1 priority.

2. Listen without judgment. So often I hear other wedding and event planners and designers badmouthing their clients’ taste. This is a huge mistake. After all, one of the reasons clients hire us is because they want us to take their personal style and turn it into something beautiful. If clients feel like they’re being judged, they will get quite angry. And who can blame them? No one likes feeling judged.

3. Be very clear. Nothing is more confusing and frustrating for clients than a vendor who lacks clarity and vision. Always be able to explain your wedding and event design services in no more than three paragraphs. You can send a more detailed legal document later when it’s appropriate.

4. Hear your clients. I mean really hear them. Nothing pisses off clients more than when they tell a vendor that they dislike something, and the vendor does it anyway. You may think you know best, but the bottom line is that you work for the client. If a client hates tropical flowers, don’t give her tropical flowers!

5. Be very careful about the size and budget of the weddings and events you accept. If you take on a small wedding with a small budget, that’s fine, but make sure this small job doesn’t take a back seat to your larger jobs. The clients with a small job should never feel like second class citizens. Both your big and small clients should always feel like they’re your #1 priority. (See #1 on this list!)

6. Keep your promises. I prefer to under-promise until I’m 100% confident that I can deliver. If you make promises you can’t keep, you will lose credibility with your clients. Keep your word.

7. If a bride or other client is stressed that means you need to work twice as hard to ensure that you don’t get stressed out, too. When clients are feeling stressed, they need you more than ever. And in order to give them what they need, you must be calm and collected. You’ve got to be a reassuring presence, and it’s pretty hard to be soothing when you’re losing your shit!

8. Be straight about money. Even though clients often don’t want to hear it, you must constantly remind them how much things actually cost. If you don’t, you’ll pay for it later (figuratively but maybe literally, too!) when they flip out about the size of your bill.

9. Keep designing until your clients are happy. Unsurprisingly, clients get very upset when they don’t like what you’ve designed for them. I promise all of my clients that I will keep designing until they are 100% happy with the results. Yes, at times, this has cost me a great deal of time and money but happy clients are king.

10. Remember, you’re only as good as your last job. You need to deliver and do your absolute best for every single job. There is nothing a client wants LESS than for you to do a bad job. Once you’ve done the job, you can’t recreate it. So do it right.

I can honestly say that I’ve made all of the mistakes above. Yep, I’ve had to learn the hard way. Fortunately, most clients are a dream to work with, and it’s a pleasure to give them my best.

Now, a few questions for you: Which of these top ten did you relate to the most? How do you feel when you hear other vendors badmouthing their clients? How do you deal with a client who dislikes your ideas and designs? (Be honest, this has happened to all of us!)

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