If you’re a wedding planner and you’re not familiar with Aisle Planner, you need to be. It’s an incredible online wedding planning tool with ALL the bells and whistles to keep you, your team, and your clients on track throughout the planning process. I’ve been using my account since last summer and while I love all the features, the check list and budget tracking tools are such a tremendous help in working with my clients!
I recently had the pleasure of contributing an article to the Aisle Planner blog about why as a wedding planner, your client experience matters. It was rewarding to write about a subject I both care so deeply about and strive to excel at within my business. I also hope it was encouraging and inspiring for other planners (and even other business owners) working hard on bettering the way they too work with their clients and vendors.
Below is a bit from my post!
How You Treat Others Leaves a Lasting Impression
. . . And a good lasting impression is always great for business!
Someone wise once said that it’s easy to forget what people say but impossible to forget how they made you feel. I would say this holds true for my own experience as a bride when to my horror my beautiful Enzoani Spanish lace wedding gown came in three inches too short. And just a mere two weeks before my wedding day to boot As a 5 foot 1 gal with a 6 foot 4 husband-to-be this just wasn’t going to work out very well.
While I don’t recall all the exact details surrounding this particular fiasco, I do remember feeling like an annoyance to the bridal salon when I finally found the courage to politely ask for a new dress; a reasonable request given my gown’s $2,700 price tag. Yet I was quickly and rudely brushed off before being told, ‘But flats would look so lovely with this gown!’ I wasn’t even offered an apology. Talk about a poor client experience!
Even though I ended up getting a new gown just in time for our wedding, over five years later I still feel like I could have been given a better client experience. Because while the gown was just one part of the equation of our wedding planning process, the emotions associated with dreaming of it, selecting it, trying it on, making the purchase and then wearing it on the big day, all amounted to a specific and lasting experience than far outweighed the actual product. And this bridal store really missed the mark.
Your client experience approach should be so fined tuned that any mistake can be carefully fixed as graciously as possible. This includes knowing how to apologize and knowing how to make things right in the event when they go wrong (because they will!). It also includes knowing how to delicately tip toe around sensitivities involving your clients (e.g. a recent loss of a parent, a bride who didn’t lose those last 15 pounds to feel her best, or hey, a dress that is over-altered by mistake!), because long after a wedding comes and goes your clients are going to remember how you made them feel. Your client experience lives on forever.
Weddings ARE An Experience In and Of Themselves
. . . And to do your job well, your client experience should be a priority!
Most couples hire a planner or a coordinator to assist with their wedding day for a multitude of reasons: their schedule is very busy so there’s little room to manage the process on their own, their ideal wedding is a bit more complex than the average and they need help, or the number one reason couples hire us at HGE: they want not only their wedding celebration but the process leading up to it, to be an experience.
From my discussions with past HGE clients I’ve found that couples (and more specifically, brides) want to celebrate the small things as much as the big. Milestones like going gown shopping for the first time, signing on the dotted line with the venue or starting a registry with their partner, are all things that carry weight. Clients want someone else involved in the planning process to be just as invested in the work leading up to the big day. They also want their guests to feel as special and celebrated as they do on the big day. There’s many reasons weddings are a big deal and the amount of work that goes into them is certainly a testament to that.
Remembering how monumental the planning process is for your clients and how special not only their wedding but also their marriage is to them puts the client experience into perspective. Perhaps this means not going to more meetings with your clients but making fewer meetings more meaningful. Or maybe this looks like memorizing your client’s bridal party names ahead of time so on the day everyone feels valued. A wedding is an experience so naturally the way you do your job should revolve in some form around a solid client experience.
And you can catch my third reason over here in the original post via Aisle Planner!
I’d love to hear all about what makes your client experience stand out. Leave a comment below!
All photos by Kelly Sweet from this beautiful 2015 summer soiree we had together. Xoxo