At a recent networking group meeting, customer service became a topic of discussion.
As part of the conversation a smaller, local hardware store was contrasted with the "big box" store across the street. How does the smaller shop survive in the shadow of the larger?
The consensus was that the customer experience at the local store was far and away better than the customer experience at the Big Box store.
I don’t know that FayFoto has a "big box store" parallel, but I can say that, because our market is saturated with competent photographers, we work very hard to make customer support our distinguishing attribute; our brand; how we want to be remembered and described.
I really enjoy knowing our customers. I love knowing their kids' names. I love knowing their dog's name or their favorite soccer team. I love picking up a conversation a month later. I love starting an email reply with "It's good to hear from you again!" I love walking up to a client’s reception desk and greeting the receptionist by name.
And I really love fishing a 2-year old image out of our archive for a distraught client who can’t locate the high resolution version of his or her manager’s head shot. That can only happen when the client is committed to a long-term relationship with a vendor, and we’re honored to have many of those types of relationships.
We haven't aimed at a bulk, anonymous market. We are happiest with repeat business. We hang on to clients because we know them. Knowing them means engaging them as individuals, and retaining information. We understand that in most cases with corporate clients consistency is critical (often times more critical than “creativity”), so we keep detailed notes. We want the experience of working with FayFoto to be frictionless. We know how we like to be treated and we try to treat our customers that way.
Customer Relations or Customer Service… call it what you want. We have found that when we cultivate relationships, and when we treat our customers with the respect and with the (professional) familiarity we ourselves would want, those contacts tend to call us back.
Professionals should be expected to provide a quality product. That’s a given. The relationship created between client and service provider is the distinguishing feature we seek to promote.
Of course we also have to look for new business, because even loyal, regular clients only need our services now and then. If you are looking for amazing customer service and support from a photographer in the Greater Boston area, our contact form is only a click away. Today might be a good day to begin a relationship with a photography partner!