Customer Service/Who are Your Customers?

As a wedding and Event Planner many times I get told by my brides and clients about bad experiences that they have had with XYZ vendor.  It is Terrible as we get the low down on the industry and we as a professional have to be able to speak positively and professionally about those we call our peers.  The old phrase that your mom taught you, always comes to mind, “if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say it at all.”  Sometimes as planners we are forced to say just that “nothing.”

I am not here to point a finger and tell vendors how to do their jobs, but purely educational to help us all in the wedding and event industry.  If you are the client and you go to the store and purchase a tv and it works only 75% of the time, you will not be happy with it.  You will want to bring it back and get your money back.  Well on service that is a little bit of a gray area, we all have non refundable deposits or booking fees as we take the date off the calendar so that the client has you for their event.  That is great!  But please do remember that after you receive that client, they may not come back for repeat business, unless you are a photographer and they would like to do another event or family pictures, but their friends and family may.  This is an example of your external customer.

Here is another scenario for you;  you refer a client to a vendor and the vendor never sends you a thank you or never sends you the things that you need as a planner to do your job efficiently or market their work and yours efficiently.  This is an example of your internal customer.

We educate a lot of the students that come out of the event management schools and novices that come to us through the Association of Bridal Consultants and one of the things that 27 Miracles is very very big on it is Customer Service.  We let these students know about their internal and external customer.  Your internal customer is your receptionist that answers the phone for you, your business manager, your other planners that you work with, your vendors that refer to you and your vendors that you refer to as well.  Having said that, we explain and teach them that they have to treat them better than they treat themselves( yes that is correct) you would never ignore yourself or be so difficult with yourself to not get along, right?  This is the same for internal customers.  We are so focused on the bride the client until they sign on and then we forget about them and pick them back up the day of the event or when a payment is due, but what about the waiting in between.  I know we are all busy but let’s take a moment to say to our internal customers that we work with frequently and bring you business( and even those that don’t but make your life easier when you work together) what can I do to make this event run smoother for you?  Or what can I do for you today to help grow your business? 

As for our external customers the clients, the brides and their families, I realize that we don’t see them often once they sign on, but a friendly email to say hi how are the plans for the wedding going, do you need anything, or sharing your newsletters with them is a nice way to say we appreciate your business and we are here if you need to ask us any questions.

So having said all of that, what can 27 Miracles do to help you today?

Pictures Courtesy of http://phillips.blogs.com/goc/2007/08/self-employment.html

826sbus

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