Before I started my journey as a wedding planner, I worked a lot of different jobs. From cooking chicken behind the counter at a deli to servicing employees in an HR department, I learned very quickly that having excellent customer service skills could set me apart. And, though I wasn’t always treated kindly or sometimes my efforts went unnoticed, at the end of the day, it made me feel better if I knew that I had been a good person and tried my best.
Customer service isn’t just something that happens when you call your internet provider or go shopping at Nordstrom’s. You can have great (and horrible) customer service interactions with anyone who is providing any service and, I hope you’re not shocked here, but working as a wedding planner is the same. I mean, it doesn’t get anymore personal than planning someone’s wedding and that is why, at LVL Wedding and Events, we have a motto – that we are first and foremost a customer service based company and that we just so happen to be experts in weddings. So today, I wanted to share 4 quick tips to help you make sure that you are the best damn customer service company who has ever planned a wedding!
Set the Tone
It is important to set the tone for your customer experience from the start; even before your potential clients become a paying customer. A great example of this is a recent couple I was in touch with about possibly planning their wedding. They had just gotten engaged and I was following them on Instagram. (We had exchanged emails but not met in person yet.) Then, I noticed they were staying at a local hotel celebrating their engagement with their parents. So, what did I do? I called up the hotel (that I had a great relationship with) and asked them if they could send up a bottle of champagne and a little note from me letting them know I was looking forward to meeting them and to enjoy their stay. Needless to say, this cost me nothing except for my time (the hotel comp’ed the champagne because it also made them look good) and they ended up booking me and that hotel for their wedding. So, a bottle of champagne and a thoughtful touch can certainly go a long way- and it sure does set the tone for what their experience is going to be like working with us!
Acknowledge Big (and Little) Wins
When it comes to wedding planning, sometimes we are working with our clients for a long time. And, since great service providers get to know all of the details about their clients, we always make the effort to ask them about their “real” life. Simple questions like, “How is working going?” or “How is your family?” can lead to details that you can celebrate in the future. A great example of this is a former client of ours who was studying for and taking the bar exam during their wedding planning process. When we found out that she had passed, we sent her a congratulations, and later found out that it was one of the reasons she ended up hiring us. The small things really do count!
Under Promise and Over Deliver
Let’s face it. Wedding planners tend to be people pleasers, but it is so important to set realistic expectations and not to overcommit yourself or your team. My rule of thumb is to always under promise and over deliver. This is especially helpful when it comes to deadlines on tasks. Always give your client a time frame to expect something that you know you will beat and then send it to them earlier – they always end up thinking you are a superhero when you “manage” to send them something early!
Pick Up the Phone!
If there is any question about whether or not you miscommunicated something or you are feeling like you are getting off track with your client, schedule a phone call. Do not email them! If there is one piece of advice you take from this article, it should be this one. There are too many things that can get lost in translation and the quickest way to get back on the same page is by having a conversation. Doing this will help mitigate any uncertainty and ultimately help bring you and your client closer to being on the same page as well as making sure they feel supported.
I hope these tips help you provide the most outstanding customer service to each of your clients (booked and potential)! Because, in the end, those referrals and reviews come from not just planning a great wedding, but from making each of your clients feel like they are the only one!