Just a little note for those who follow my blog today: In my seminar “The Business of Photography” I teach a lot about customer satisfaction and giving the client more than they expect. One of the byproducts of this habit is the add-on sale. Case in point is that of making a personal delivery to the client, especially when you know the customer is going to be thrilled to see the product. Just today I handed an order of prints to my client because I knew how excited she would be to see the edits that were done without extra charge. The pints were 6 copies of a group photo from a family event that took place a month ago and the final version included edits to open eyes on a couple of people, remove glare from a paneled wall and clean up some glasses and napkins on a table in the foreground.
I actually billed her for about $40 less than I had quoted for the Prints and did not charge for the edits. The important thing to note here is that these items needed to be fixed by the Photographer, not as a charge to the customer. The lower price charged was the result of my ability to take advantage of quantity pricing from the printer (Douglas Photographic Imaging). The personal delivery coupled with the reduced price and free edits resulted in another order on the spot. The extra order by far exceeds the value that I “gave” away to that client. The philosophy here is that I was going to profit without an extra order, but the ability to benefit from her satisfaction was bound to lead into more business either immediately and in the future. The result of getting the order today means the I will get the add-on business both now and in the future.
Bottom line: treat your customers right and they WILL reward you. The reward today may be no more than the pleasure of seeing their reaction, but the reward tomorrow is virtually impossible to track and off the charts in your favor. Whatever you do; Don’t forget to put some business cards in the package with every delivery. Your satisfied customer will be asked the question “Who did …?” and you want them to have your business cards handy to pass out for you. When somebody is impressed by your work and your customer gives you a strong referral by handing over your business card, you WILL get follow-up business as a result.