Part 3: Confusion & Poor Communication

How do you react to clients who have expectations that you are not aware of or expectations that you feel are unreasonable? Where do clients get these expectations?

In the past two posts in this series we addressed two of the 4 different sources these expectations come from:

– The Market Norm

– The first exposure to the type of product or service you offer

Today we will look at the remain two sources to discuss:

– Confusion caused by your business’ complicated structures

– Poor communication between you and the client

Confusion:
When pricing and offerings are complicated, it confuses the client and he/she will have different expectations than what you actually laid out.

Example: A client receives your price-list that explains your vast array of packages that contain different album choices, design options, and photographic print types. As the client is selecting the package she wants to purchase, she does not realize your coffee table book, that you have creatively titled your “mocha collection” is different than your flush mount album that you have titled “espresso collection”. You obviously understand that your 9×9 “mocha collection” books are completely different from your 10×10 “espresso collection” albums. However, your client didn’t get the difference. She is all excited to pay $200 for the beautiful album you showed her in your studio. However, she is looking at the price for the coffee table book and she is expecting to get the flush mounted album. She then becomes disappointed when you inform her the cost for the album is $2,000 and not $200.

Make your pricing and service offerings simple, clean, and clear. Just because you can offer hundreds of cover options, print types, page materials, etc… doesn’t mean you should. You probably have heard that buyer confusion can lead to the client’s inability to make a decision and ultimately will reduce your chance of making the sale. However, we rarely think about how the buyer’s confusion can often affect their overall feelings toward our selfs and our businesses.

Poor Communication:

When a business does not have set practices and structure, the staff and owners can become confused and will most definitely give out misinformation to a client.

Get organized! Don’t just create editing workflows, create workflows and policies for everything in your business. This should be applied even if you are the only one that works in your studio. If you have a partner or other staff, utilize management systems like ShootQ and enter all client communications into their accounts. This way you can always trace back what your teammates said or did not say to a client.

Be sure to communicate what you offer even when you think the client already knows. Have it laid out on your website and in your email correspondents. Try to have as much communication via email as possible so that your communications are in writing. Be willing to give out price-lists that have the details of your products and services. Make the line items in your invoices overly descriptive. The more of these ideas you can do, the better.

Stay Tuned!:
In the next and final post of this series, we will discuss how to handle those “crazy” and “unreasonable” clients.

Some thoughts for you to share with me:

  • Do you feel it’s more damaging to offer too many product and service options or is it more damaging to offer too little product and service options?
  • What are the best tools that you have found to create organization and better communication in your business?

About Peter Carlson

Peter Carlson’s outgoing, laid back, quirky personality is the main reason both brides and photographers love working with him. Through photography, he and his wife Whitney focus on the unique personalities of every couple as well as the joy and happy emotions that are felt on each wedding day. Photographers find their classes fun, inspirational, and easy to implement. Peter & Whitney run their own studio, Dove Wedding Photography,  as well as The Collection and The Nashville Photography Class

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