"The people at the very top don't work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” – Malcolm Gladwell
The one thing that almost every wedding professional can do to immediately improve their customer service and brand positioning?
Stop sending automated email replies.
This is especially true if you work in the luxury market.
High-end means high touch. The saying, “Work smarter not harder” is well-intentioned, but the fact of the matter is that if you want to command a higher fee for your services, you will need to work both smarter and harder. If you want to position yourself as a high-end brand that understands the nuances of the luxury client, you have to put in the actual effort. You have to actually “touch.”
Here’s some tough love: automated and canned replies may help you feel more organized and efficient behind the scenes, but they make you look cold and uncaring.
I’m willing to bet that when you wrote out your core values and mission statement for your business and marketing plans, “cold” and “uncaring” were not traits you included as wanting to be known as.
Yet thousands of wedding professionals are actively branding themselves as such in the name of efficiency.
The first name mail merge and seemingly personalized, “Hi, how are you?” greetings don’t fool anyone. Nobody likes receiving automated emails. They’re like receiving unsigned holiday cards in that they convey to the recipient that they are nothing more than a checkmark you need to tick on your to-do list, and not someone you actually care about.
Tighten corners elsewhere in your business. When it comes to client communication, it is much better to do things the long, hard, stupid way.
Your advantage is that most of your competitors will read this, roll their eyes, and continue to automate everything. Let them. Focus on yourself and your own company and step up your game.
People almost always hire the person who makes them feel the best from the very beginning of the process. Be the person who’s willing to sacrifice a little bit of efficiency in order to make people feel truly valued, heard, and connected.
PS: Since telling people that you'll reply to them within 48 hours is seen by most potential brides and grooms as too long to wait, you can use tools like IFTTT or Zapier to send you a push notification or text message when you get a new inquiry. This way you or a team member can reply quickly while still maintaining whichever boundaries you’ve set around the rest of your inbox.