With the ongoing unknown of how the wedding industry will be affected in the short, medium and long term. Now more than ever wedding suppliers that want to survive through this global pandemic and thrive in the ‘new norm’ need to refocus their thinking.
Here at The Boho Bride Guide, we have put together a series of blog posts to enable you to reflect on your current business position and take action to:
Today, this blog is to highlight the first of the Diversify and Thrive Pillars, the importance as to why we need to surprise and delight our wedding clients to build our business reputation and dominate your wedding niche.
Gone are the days where you can provide a value for money service and have wedding clients raving about your business and lining up to share a positive review. It is an expectation in today’s market that all services provided by small businesses, are excellent and you provide what you say you will in your contract.
However, if you want to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and begin to dominate your wedding niche, you need to provide a truly exceptional wedding service that goes over and above your clients expectations. This principle remains your first priority, especially in a global pandemic, and your customers need to feel compelled to publicly say thank you to you.
HOW do you provide an exceptional experience that surprises and delights?
Create a short online feedback survey that your customers can complete after their big day. Keep the survey, short (under 10 questions), I would suggest around half the questions to be ‘on a scale of 1-5’ option) and then the other half to be open questions to capture as much information as possible.
Or better still, if you have built up a good relationship with your clients and feel they will be honest with you, ask for 10 mins of their time and ask the questions over the phone and make notes or record. This does come with a caveat though. Be objective when receiving the results, as if you are getting all 5’s and no comments, I would suggest that the respondent isn’t being honest or spending the quality time thinking about their answers.
Then with this feedback, you can make continuous improvements and changes to your wedding business services and products to ensure you remain top of your game, by providing a delightful service that truly addresses your clients wants for their big day.
Fellow Wedding Suppliers, Supplier Directory write ups and shout outs all have a baring, but most important of all is what your previous wedding couples are saying about you via business reviews online. 76% of customers regularly use online reviews to determine which business to use and 52% of customers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, which it is why your online customer testimonials need to be up to date and relevant to the products and services you are providing today to win new wedding clients for the future
Research also suggests that 96% of unhappy customers wont complain to you, but will tell 9-15 friends, which can be disastrous to a small business and could create masses of subsequent work to rectify the issue and save the name of your business.
This is why clear communication channels are essential when managing your clients wishes for their big day. Another factor in this to remember is the WAY you communicate. To receive honest and open feedback from our clients, we need to constantly self check ourselves, our non verbal communication, the language we use, the actions we take, to ensure we are creating an environment where our wedding couples feel at ease to say what they are really thinking and feeling. This will then ensure we can provide a first class, delightful service for them that caters to their wedding aspirational needs and wants for their big day.
(Stats from www.reputationrefinery.com).
HOW do you build your customer review portfolio?
This means that as wedding suppliers, we need to have a system in place to follow up with our previous brides and request a review from them in the places that matter. On your social media handles, on your Google Business account and on any Supplier Directory profiles you have would be some key places to ask for a review. You can then copy these reviews onto your own website too. To make it super easy for your client send them all of the links to the review pages so they can easily and quickly complete the task for you. And don’t forget to say a BIG thank you!
You could think about a ‘refer a friend’ through word of mouth, type set up where you offer previous clients some kind of benefit if they pass on your business details and get subsequent a new client from the transaction. Or an effective way of capturing customer testimonials is via video, this would look brilliant on your website as we as humans always love to see, hear and feel how people are talking about another service or product they have used.
This will have a massive positive impact on your brand influence and dominance within your wedding niche, as well as assist greatly with your online marketing strategy. Make your previous wedding clients your marketing advocates by using their testimonials about how great you are, this will pay dividends!
Love Jen x
The Wedding Business Blog
A biz. development blog dedicated to wedding suppliers looking to grow their business resilience and thrive amid Covid 19 and beyond.
Founder of The Boho Bride Guide
At the beginning of 2020, Jenny identified a gap within the wedding industry, and realised by bringing her two areas of expertise together, her background in Training and People Development, as well as her experience running her small business in the wedding industry, she could really make a difference to wedding suppliers looking to grow their business and their brand.