This month, we’re focusing on the idea of being absolutely, undeniably unforgettable. And, as small business owners and wedding professionals who often rely on word-of-mouth, there’s no better place to start making an impact than with our clients. Today, then, we’re talking our top tips for leaving a lasting impression with your clients. From cultivation to closing, read on for some suggestions for creating a client experience that will leave couples stunned and ready to spread the word.
Step Up Your Welcome Packet Game
Your first impression is a lasting one, so investing time and resources into creating an unforgettable welcome packet is key. At the very least, your welcome packet should include a standardized welcome letter, a handwritten thank-you note, and your business card. If you have the budget, including a small welcome gift can also make a huge impact on your clients. This can be anything you think is relevant or helpful for an engaged couple—a gift card for a date night, de-stressing supplies (candles, lavender spray, etc.), a small tasty treat (custom cookies with your company’s logo, coffee grounds from your favorite local shop, etc.). You can even opt to send the couple a fresh bouquet as a congrats-and-welcome gift (companies like The Bouqs have great daily flower deals and reasonable subscription options, so you can make an impact without breaking the bank).
Regardless of your budget, a simple way to make your welcome packet look and feel professional is to ensure everything you include is branded with your company logo and colors and follows your company brand standards. This will create a cohesive overall look, which is so important when it comes to setting your business apart.
Look for Opportunities to Show Your Gratitude
Whether a client was super understanding about that minor mistake you made, was willing to reschedule a meeting at the last minute when your kiddo came down with the flu, or even just was willing to give you a shot as a brand-new planner—looking for opportunities to say thank you to clients is key.
Throughout the months you work with each couple, we recommend finding one opportunity to send them a nice thank-you note and/or thank-you gift. If you’re on a tight budget, invest in some simple, company-branded stationery and simply write a thoughtful, handwritten note when such an opportunity arises. If your budget allows, send a small gift (a bouquet of flowers, a framed engagement photo of theirs, a mug or other swag item branded with their wedding logo/crest/monogram if they have one, etc.) along with the card for added impact. Everyone likes to feel special, so while it may feel silly to you to send a thank-you card for something as small as a client being willing to reschedule a meeting, your recognition and gratitude will leave a lasting impact on them.
Implement an Organized Workflow
Gifts and thank-you notes are great ways to leave a lasting impression with clients, but if your overall client experience is terrible, all of the flower deliveries in the world won’t make up for it. So, in addition to niceties like handwritten notes and small gifts, you need to also ensure you have solid foundational items and processes in place that make the planning process simple and enjoyable for your clients. Develop an organized workflow and stick to this process—this will help you avoid bumps in the road, which will, in turn, ensure smooth sailing for your clients.
Clearly Communicate What To Expect
Especially for seasoned planners, it can be easy to forget that this is likely our client’s first rodeo, which means they have no idea what to expect. While the wedding-planning process is more than familiar for planners and pros, it’s completely foreign to most engaged couples. Most couples don’t know what responsibilities are theirs versus yours, when they should have certain to-do’s completed, or where to even begin planning—and it’s this lack of familiarity with the process that can lead to miscommunications that leave clients disappointed or upset. Thankfully, you can avoid this by being super clear with clients from the get-go and outlining the process in a way they’ll understand.
Clear communication (avoiding industry jargon) and a well-developed workflow (a step-by-step process you develop and stick to) are key for helping your clients know what to expect during the planning process. We love the idea of including a “Next Steps” or “What to Expect” card in your welcome packet so that these details are clear and in writing. Or, you can even create a “What to Expect” note template in Aisle Planner that you share with each couple as they sign on as a client.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Pretty
Whether it’s fair or not, humans tend to judge things based on aesthetic. No matter how amazing a wedding planner is, if she or he has outdated, unsightly marketing materials, this communicates a lack of professionalism to potential clients. No matter how big or small your budget, finding the resources to invest in branding is key. Every single thing that represents your business—your website, your social channels, your stationary, your contracts, your studio space—should all have the same cohesive look and feel. You should have set company colors, a professional logo, and a preferred typeface—and every client-facing item you develop should follow these brand standards. After all, your attention to detail and eye for design shouldn’t just stop at the parties you plan, but should extend to everything you do.
Overall, a great client experience comes down to three main things: thoughtful gestures (like nice welcome packets, handwritten thank-you notes and small gifts when appropriate), clear communication from the get-go, and a high level of professionalism across all of your client-facing materials. If you take the time to invest in each of these, you’re sure to leave a lasting—and unforgettable—impression on those all-important clients.