As a result of the post I did a couple of weeks ago where I asserted that putting up with bad behavior is not a way to improve your customer service, I got a great question from Mike in Knoxville, TN. He said:
I just read your post, and it got me thinking about how I take care of my clients. Clients, in a strange way, are somewhat like a spouse, how you treat them, or how you re-act to them can have different results. I'm always looking for someway to add extra value to my services, value for what I do for them, what kinda things I can do for them that they would like, would prove helpful for them, that they would appreciate enough to mention to others while at the same time not really causing me much trouble at all to do.
So let me start out. Here are some things that I suggest real estate photographers do to enhance their customer service:
- Listen to your customers: Ask them how you are doing. Some times you can just listen to what they say and some times you have to ask questions. Remember, you listen with your ears, not your mouth.
- Be easy to contact: I can imagine many photographers tendency is to not want to be interrupted during a shoot. I think you have to either have a scheduling person or be willing to answer your cell phone and make appointments all day anytime.
- Be easy to work with: Be flexible and easy to work with. Be willing to change your schedule (with in reason).
- Deliver as fast as possible: This is big! I know from personal experience that when a listing agent signs a listing agreement the very first question after the homeowner signs is always, "when can we be on the market?" In some market situations a day or two can be very important. You can't deliver photos too fast. I'd say always within 24 hours and with in 12 hours or the same day if at all possible.
- Make a trip back if you screw up: If you screw up volunteer to go back and reshoot if that's what it takes to fix the problem.
- Offer a reward if someone refers a new client: If you are trying to expand your business offer a free shoot, a discount, a Starbucks gift card or some reward for sending a new client to you. A new regular client can be worth a lot.
What are your suggestions? How do you improve your customer service? Agent readers, what would you like a photographer to do?