Over the summer I really sat down and looked at what I was offering my clients. A photo session and a DVD of their images. I offered prints, canvases, and albums, but hardly anyone would purchase these, everyone just wanted the DVD. I realized that I was cutting my clients short and they deserved better from me. I threw out the photography packages I had and started from scratch. I want more for my clients than an hour with me and a DVD to sit in their drawer. I want them to have pictures and canvases and albums to show off their images and memories.
By allowing my clients to be happy with a DVD of images, I was teaching them it was okay and expected of me to provide a DVD after every session. There is so much more potential for their images, if I would only allow myself to show them. That was the scary part. It meant I would need to change the way I do business and it would mean I might lose some customers because of it.
Think of it like going through the drive-thru at your favorite fast food place. You just want to get your order in and get out as quickly as possible. You have places to go and know exactly what you want, so you rush through the drive-thru window and probably eat your food on the way to your next destination. You are greeted by the fast food worker with a curt hello as your food is shoved out the window towards you. More times that not, you end up with french fries on the floor or your kids are fighting over the toy in the kids meal. Typically a few hours later, you are regretting your decision to eat that juicy cheeseburger with a large coke and fries, you feel sluggish at work or worse yet, indigestion.
Now, imagine with me, you head out to eat to your favorite steak house. Chances are you don’t wear what you’ve been wearing all day long taking care of the house or kids or running errands. You put on a nice outfit and break out the pearls. You have a babysitter come watch your kids for the evening, so you can enjoy your time with your spouse. The entire drive over to the restaurant you are thinking about what you will order and you are looking forward to this treat. Once you arrive at the steak house, you are warmly greeted and seated in a comfortable booth. A waiter arrives with ice cold water and takes your order. A few minutes later he returns with complimentary bread. When your waiter returns to take your order, he walks you through the specials of the evening or perhaps offers you some of the house wine. You have a few questions about different cuts of steak or how you’d like your salad and he politely answers all your questions, even making a suggestion or two. As you finish up your dinner, your waiter appears again, this time with a dessert sample platter. You can see and smell or even taste the different types of dessert the restaurant offers and you both order dessert. Perhaps you weren’t planning on having dessert, but once you saw that decadent chocolate cake, you couldn’t help it. The entire evening is topped off with a cup of coffee and you return back to your home a happy and satisfied customer.
Granted, you’ve probably spent more money and time on your steak dinner than your fast food, but the experience, customer service and food make it all worth your time. This is the approach I want to take with my clients. I don’t want the process to feel rushed. I want to be that helpful guide in helping you choose what best suits your needs when it comes to ordering products or prints for your home. I want to make the entire process easy, fun and enjoyable. I want you to be completely satisfied with your products and the service I offer.
As a result of going through my product list, I created a product guide that specifically outlines the products I offer and what is available to the client. I also have samples and I’m working on ordering a few more. It’s my goal to help my clients walk through this guide after their family portrait session and answer any questions they may have or even make a suggestion or two.
I say all of this to say that I still offer the DVD as an a la carte option; it is just no longer a part of the photography collections. However, in an effort to help my clients come away with something other than a DVD, I offer a product credit with each session. Of course, one may use the product credit towards the purchase of the DVD, however, I’m hoping to steer them in the direction of a large print, album or canvas. What is art if it’s not meant to be displayed?
I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments on this.