Every company has a different approach to customer service. There are some elements of customer service that are expensive and difficult to implement. But there are some that are so easy, it’s hard to understand why every company would not employ them. I’ll give you one example. My “office” varies from day to day — sometimes I’m actually in my office but sometimes it’s a coffee shop or a restaurant or somewhere else. Today, I was at a suburban mall. I was there before all of the stores opened at 10:00, sitting in the common area working. At 9:55 a few of the stores opened their doors — there were customers waiting outside and a few minutes early was just fine for them. One of them, notably, was Apple. An employee came out and, with a big smile, welcomed the 5 people into the store. I’m quite certain each customer very much appreciated the early welcome. Then there was another store (name intentionally withheld) that also had a few people waiting outside their doors. They, however, decided that 10:08 was a good time to open the doors. I’m quite certain that those customers were beyond aggravated. Lesson:
5 minutes early = extatic customers
On time = meeting a customers expectations
5 minutes late = very angry customer
Oh what 10 minutes can do! I’m certain we’ve all had both of these experiences. I’ve been at Nordstrom when they opened early just because they noticed I was waiting outside a few minutes before they were scheduled to open. On the other hand, we were at a museum this weekend and got there 5 minutes early along with a whole line of people, young and old. They opened the doors 10 minutes late. And it was 10 degrees outside! What a terrible experience.
Customer service is critically important in the photography business. It impacts how you feel when you look at your pictures. Unfortunately, much of the service in our industry is in need of improvement. Unanswered calls. Unanswered emails. Missed deadlines. When my customers have used other photographers before me, they are shocked when they get emails back right away and when I show up to the session on time. And when I tell them that they’re going to get their proofs no more than a week after their session, they almost don’t believe me. But, in my opinion, that service is just as important as beautiful photos. Because when you look at your pictures, you want to be reminded of wonderful feelings, not aggravation. A customer’s whole experience with Pollack Photography needs to be exceptional.
As always, at Pollack Photography, we’re focused on you.