10 Things Brides Hated About Their Wedding Vendors
By Jeffrey House Photography
Have you heard about or personally experienced terrible wedding vendors?
Happy New Year everyone and congratulations to those of you who got engaged this holiday season! It's a very exciting time and today we are going to share with you the things brides hate about wedding vendors and how to choose great wedding vendors.
It never ceases to amaze me how many times I hear people complain about wedding professionals due to their bad attitudes and/or lack of professionalism. Your wedding professionals personalities should be one of their greatest assets. A big part of the job is human interaction. It's okay for your wedding professional to be a bit silly, fun, and outgoing as long as they also maintain some level of professionalism - You certainly don't want a professional that is robotic - that will most likely cause you to feel stiff and lifeless too.
Recently, I read an interesting article about the 10 things brides hate about wedding professionals. The article was written by Megan Miranda - a Portland, Oregon based blogger, writer, and business owner.
I'm always on the lookout for helpful information I can funnel to couples getting married. So, today we are going to take a look at the 10 things brides hate about wedding professionals. To ensure you get the most out of the article we will share how we approach each of these situations, so you can get an idea of what you should expect from any wedding professional.
1. They Don't Communicate
Brides are extremely frustrated by wedding professionals that communicate untimely or not at all. How do you provide great customer service if you don't communicate with your clients? The short answer is obvious - you don't! Unfortunately, I find that many companies today fail to properly communicate with their customers. I have an extensive background in customer relations; therefore, this issue really perplexes me.
We pride ourselves on our customer relations. First of all, I personally respond to every customer inquiry. At least 90% of the time I respond to an inquiry within 2-4 hours, if not sooner. If for some reason I'm unable to respond to an inquiry quickly, I will at least send a response advising that I received their question, advise why I can't respond at the moment, and provide a time frame in which I will respond. This way our customers know that we care about them and they know what to expect.
As a general rule, client's inquiries should be responded to within 24 hours - 48 hours under certain circumstances. However, it's definitely not acceptable to take 4-5 days to respond - And in no circumstance is it acceptable to not respond at all.
2. They're Curt
This is another behavior I personally experience with a lot of companies today, and again, another behavior I can't comprehend. When a customer pays you for your services they expect to be treated with respect and professionalism. We are all consumers and we all share these expectations. Being short, snippy, or rude with your customers is not acceptable.
As a wedding professional, we feel our role should extend beyond that of a wedding photographer. We write a lot of articles designed to assist couples with essentially every aspect of weddings - planning to execution. When a customer presents a question to us we want to ensure we provide them with a response that appropriately and professionally addresses their inquiry. It may take one sentence or it may take two paragraphs, but it's never curt.
3. They Don't Listen
As wedding professionals we are essentially in a service industry. One of the most important skills a wedding professional needs is excellent listening. You might be asking how "listening" is a skill, but it is. Active Listening means we truly hear what someone says - you can listen to someone speak and never hear a word. As a wedding professional how do you provide your customers with an exceptional experience if you don't understand their needs?
A great way to ensure we're being heard is to have the person repeat what we just said. It doesn't need to be word for word, but a general summary that shows they heard us and understand the intention of our words. This is something we like to do with our clients to ensure we are all on the same page.
4. They Won't Give Their Prices
Ahhh, this is an interesting one. Let me first say this. If a wedding professional is purposely delaying giving you their pricing without a good reason, that's a problem. Obviously you will need to have this information so you can determine whether or not you can afford their services.
However, let me share a wedding professional's perspective. When customers initially contact us inquiring about our services we have very limited information about their event. While "contact forms" secure some basic information, we don't want customers spending too much time filling out forms - that would be annoying. So, when we get an inquiry we typically need to secure some additional information so we can properly address their needs. However, once this information is obtained a wedding professional should not hesitate to give you pricing information.
5. They Don't Have Ideas
It's practically mandatory for wedding professionals to be creative. Whether you're a DJ, videographer, or photographer you need to have "ideas" for your clients. It's our job to sue our creativity to make your wedding special and original. We should always be looking to improve - the next wedding should be better than the last.
As artists, we are personally always researching new ideas and new techniques to implement. We will sometimes even use past wedding couples as models to experiment, and test out new ideas. Without continued growth, an artists work will become boring, predictable, and lifeless.
6. They're Not Trustworthy
I suppose when it comes to a business being trustworthy there are no guarantees, however, there are some steps you can take to help guard against a bad business. I would first recommend that any business you deal with has a decent online presence - a website, Facebook, Instatgram, Pinterest, etc. They don't necessarily need to be active on all of these sites, but it should be apparent to you that they take their business seriously.
7. Don't Deliver On Their Promises
This is another issues that's right up there with poor communication and not listening. As a business professional it's imperative to deliver on the promises you make. It's not difficult - just do what you say you're going to do. If you can't keep a promise then don't make it. Customers will quickly become frustrated if you don't make good on your promises. As a customer, you shouldn't have to chase down your wedding professional to ensure they make good on their promises.
8. They Don't Dress Professionally
Most wedding professionals work for themselves; therefore, that makes them small business owners. Considering the majority of weddings include formal attire, it's unacceptable to show up in sweatpants or jeans - and yes, there are wedding professionals guilty of showing up to a wedding in sweatpants. Like it or not, wedding professionals need to understand this is a professional career and people will form perceptions about their company based solely on their attire - the first impression.
When we arrive at a wedding we are professionally dressed in attire that is business appropriate. We are fun, personable, and outgoing but we also project our professionalism.
9. They Aren't Professional
If wedding professionals don't take their business serious, why should anyone else? As I said earlier, wedding professionals should have a well rounded personality - they should be fun, creative, friendly, etc., but they should always be professional. Regardless of your profession, it requires professionalism to run a business. This is reflected in your dress, communication, listening and your trustworthiness.
10. They Don't Make Us Feel Special
Wedding professionals spend a lot of time around weddings, however, that doesn't mean they shouldn't make you feel special. Every wedding is unique in its own way and your wedding professional should be doing everything they can to make you feel the same way. As a wedding professional, if you're bored by weddings then it's time to look for another line of work or it's time to stop being complacent with your work product. Couple's are paying and expecting a great experience and that's what they should get!
This is one area that make our wedding photography business unique. We want our couples to have a "great experience." An experience that is custom to their needs and their weeding. Your experience should be informative, practical, and make you feel special. We form a personal relationship with our clients that's built on trust!
The Experience Is What It's All About
There are plenty of wedding professionals that make great pictures or create beautiful wedding videos or know how to work a crowd to get them dancing. However, if couples feel their professionals aren't good communicators, listeners, or they aren't professional the perception of their work product will significantly suffer.
Too many companies today make us feel like another "number." Receiving good customer service and feeling special is the exception rather than the rule. We don't want our couples feeling anything but special. This is your wedding day - an emotional day filled with sentimental and loving moments. We want to make it as magical as you envision it.
Have you experienced bad wedding vendors? Share your experience with us now!