There’s a lot of content out there about what makes an amazing client experience for photography businesses. Most are pretty basic and focus on the obvious touchpoints you need.
There’s nothing wrong with those articles. In fact, I have a client experience mapped out for wedding photographers that people love! (And I loved writing!)
But where’s the tutorial to learn how to turn an average photography experience into one that people can’t stop raving about to their friends and family? An experience that makes people talk about you one year, two years, or more in the future.
I want THAT kind of experience. Don’t you?
Well, here’s that article! Keep scrolling for 7 tips to create an amazing client experience, whether you’re just starting out in photography or 5+ years in!
How to create an amazing client experience for your photography clients!
Define your customer experience
The first step to a great customer experience is to define what that looks like (aka, your customer journey). You can keep it simple by grabbing a pen and paper to write down every touchpoint a customer has with you, from the moment someone reaches out to you until after their products are delivered.
Your client should feel like they know what the next step in the process is and how to prepare for it at all times. Seeing all your touch points listed out can help you spot opportunities to make your entire customer experience unique, personal, and more seamless.
Build in (many) meaningful touchpoints
A major complaint most photography clients have is their lack of communication. You don’t want that to be the impression someone walks away from your business with. So, once your whole customer experience is laid out, ask yourself what meaningful touchpoints you can add to your workflow.
Look for several-week-long gaps of time where you don’t speak to your client at all. Maybe you notice that clients often “check-in” which is an indicator that you’re not communicating with them enough. If your session dates happen quickly after booking, you may not need this. If you have long periods between booking and the session date, like maternity photographers and newborn photographers, you may want to create automated “check-in” emails so your clients know you haven’t forgotten about them and that you’re still excited to be their photographer.
Ps: If you’re new to photography or just not sure what touchpoints are needed to make a great customer experience? That’s ok! Don’t overcomplicate it. There are niche-specific email workflows out there and in my shop that can give you an instant idea of what you need and pre-written templates to build amazing client experiences.
Prepare your client
Most clients don’t get regular photoshoots. It’s very vulnerable and that can lead to feeling pressure to know how to pose. So, it’s up to you to help your client feel prepared and confident before they ever step in front of your lens. If you’re able to do this successfully, it adds major value to your customer’s experience.
There are a lot of ways you can prepare your client. You can add a 30-minute pre-session planning appointment. If you don’t have time to add another meeting to your calendar, you can also send them a Session Guide that details everything they need to know to prepare for their shoot. I’m a fan of using session guides because it serves your client without adding more work for yourself. Plus, you can automate this task. And if you’ve been here a while, you know how much I LOVE anything that can be automated!
Make your client experience personal
This is going to sound contradictory, but many times automation can feel cold. I’m sure you’ve seen examples of this. Just search your inbox for the last auto-generated invoice receipt you received or any calendar reminder for a meeting.
But photography is personal, and your client experience should be too. As you add meaningful touchpoints to your customer journey, consider opportunities to add uniqueness and personality.
You could hand deliver the album to your client’s doorstep with a lily. Maybe you create a personalized slideshow with their favorite song they sing to their little one. You could even make it part of your editing process to send a quick sneak peek of one image to your client via Instagram or email with a 1-2 sentence personalized note.
Make it exciting
A lot of times there’s a lull between when we do a session and when the client gets their images. Especially if you’re editing a larger gallery, like a wedding or personal branding photoshoot.
So, while we’re on the subject of sneak peeks let’s talk about how you can keep your client excited during their lull periods. I personally recommend taking the idea of sending a sneak peek of your client’s photo to them (like we just mentioned) a step further. The day after you send a sneak peek to your client, post a sneak peek of a different photo, or a behind-the-scenes of the session itself, to your Instagram Stories and tag your client.
People LOVE being able to share their sessions and images with friends and family. It makes the experience even more exciting because it will spark compliments and conversations and lets the moment live on longer. Plus, by tagging them in your Story, you not only get to show what the photoshoot experience is like to your audience but you can also get in front of your client’s friends and family. Win-win! Everyone can get excited about that.
Make the ordering process easy
You and I both know how complicated it can be to order prints, digital images, and albums. There are a million sizes, materials, and color options to choose from. The truth is, clients don’t want to have to choose. If you present them with too many options, it’s going to be overwhelming.
The key to a seamless ordering process is to keep it simple. Some of my clients have found success in offering only digital images. Others have chosen to do in-person sales (IPS), where they meet with their client to gently lead him/her to pre-determined product collections and albums they’ve mocked up ahead of time.
There’s no one way to make the ordering process easy. If you need help figuring out if your current process works, try asking a non-photographer friend to pretend to be your client. Push them through your entire ordering process. Trust me, they will point out all the ways you could be overcomplicating the process.
Keep the magic going
My last tip for creating an amazing client experience is to keep the magic going. Your customer experience isn’t over once you deliver your clients’ products. Oh no! There are plenty of ways to create an amazing experience for your clients by designing off-boarding workflows.
If you’re a wedding photographer, you can prepare a congratulations note to your clients with your favorite print and set up a reminder to send it 2 weeks before their anniversary. If you’re a newborn photographer, find software that allows your clients to create postcards or mini albums to send the grandparents for Christmas.
Little acts can make people renew the spark they had standing in front of your lens.
What are the benefits of a great client experience?
Having an amazing client experience is important because that’s what people remember about you. Sure, they have photos of themselves. But it’s the experience people have with you that turns a one-time client into a life-long referral source.
On top of that, once people start seeing and talking about their great experience with you, it raises the value of your services. It builds trust. And building trust + word of mouth + notable value will let you raise your rates.
If you’re looking for help to fast-track your way to a proven client experience, head over to the shop to snag one of my niche-specific email templates, with every touchpoint you need to create your client experience in a day!