We’ve talked quite a bit in the past about how critical it is to provide an exceptional customer experience in this crowded market. If you haven’t read these posts, you may want to take a few minutes to do so…
As the final homework assignment for Planning for Profit 2013, I want you to write down EVERY step of your workflow and EVERY interaction your client has with your business. This will make you give your workflow a critical look to see if there are places in which you can be saving time. It will also help you see if there are holes in your client experience.
Part I – The Workflow
Start when a prospective client contacts you online, via phone or email. What do you do? Write down every step in your process.
- Client inquiry
- Call client
- Send information and pricing email
- Book client
- Take deposit
- Send contract and thank you note
- Schedule consult
- Prep for session
- Shoot Session
10. Download card
You get the idea. Continue through your post-processing workflow, sales workflow, and product order workflow. It is so incredibly helpful to have this written down.
I recently signed up for ShootQ. While there are many ways that this software will help me streamline my business, I am most excited for implementing my workflow in a program that will keep populating my calendar with the next to do for EVERY client!! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for this.
There is no need to run out and spend money on a studio management service. I used to have my workflow printed in a long list with a check box next to it. I simply printed it as a word document, in three identical columns. Then I would print them out, cut them into individual forms and staple them to the outside of my client folder. You could also print your workflow directly onto a client envelope to help you keep your workflow in order.
I found that I was starting to miss the little things that make a great client experience so the money I’m spending each month now to help keep me on track with EVERY detail is worth every penny to me.
Part II – The Client Experience
Now that you have your workflow, put on your client hat and go through the process from their point of view. This will alert you to any possible gaps in communication that could lead to miscommunication or frustration on the part of your client.
- View website (Can they find the information they are looking for?)
- Contact you (Do you return calls or reply promptly in email?)
- Book session (Is it easy or difficult to pay their deposit?)
Continue to go through the process to final delivery and follow up.
I hope that you have found these exercises beneficial. Now that you’ve created all of these fabulous plans its time for the execution. I recommend using that Evernote account to keep a running to do list. Break it down as needed. I keep a separate marketing notebook with marketing tasks in there and a to do notebook with more general projects. I also break down to do’s into short-term, medium term, and long-term goals.
If you have found this series useful, please share it with your photographer friends!