We recently received an email from a client who let us know that they’ve been waiting for over +12 months to receive their video product from their wedding. They’ve tried following up with the vendor only to end up with no response. This isn’t the first time we’ve received an email like this from a follower, and we decided to bring an open and honest discussion forum onto our stories. Many of you chimed in with your experience as a client, and even as a vendor. Throughout the stories shared, we thought we would compile some advice for future clients and vendors to navigate these situations and to better understands where each side comes from.
1.Clients: In your contract, make sure your vendor states the expected time frame to receive your photos or videos back. If it’s not already written, please ensure you discuss openly with your vendor so that it is incorporated into your contact. Having this clause in the contract gives you leverage and also gives mutual expectations on when to receive completed services.
2.Clients: Request quotes and services from more than one vendor. Don’t put all your trust in one vendor without doing some research and comparing prices and services. Remember, if you are often paying for a suspiciously cheaper price, ask yourself what service they aren’t perhaps giving you that you would get elsewhere – eg, you get your photos back in a week but they aren’t retouched?
3.Vendors: Make sure you have a good handle on the administrative work involved within your business. Email inquiries are a key source to whether or not a client wants to book you. If you are getting back to your client after an unreasonable time frame, chances are they’ve already booked someone else as the same inquiry has already been sent to other vendors in your field. It’s unfair to expect a potential client to make them wait a week for an initial response.
4.Vendors: Life happens and sometimes things may not go as planned. Your delivery target perhaps got pushed back. If your client is reaching out and asking or an update, be transparent with them. Avoiding and not responding to your client does not work for anyone, especially a paying client. Again, if your contract has a specific time frame, you are under obligation to fulfill per the contract unless otherwise amended.
5.When you’re a vendor in this industry and have a social media presence (specifically Instagram), if a potential client has sent you an inquiry or existing client has followed up for an update and you haven’t responded back, the client already has thoughts running in their head. It’s important to remember as a client that some vendors usually have someone dedicated to run their social media platforms and this person may not be the admin person dedicated to respond back to email inquiries. As a vendor, it’s important to understand how your brand is impacted by these various things that happen through social media and client interactions. Although you can say you have a social media manager taking care of your social media pages, but the question back can be why don’t you have a dedicated admin person to answer and deal with inquiries?
6.We weren’t initially going to address this part, but now that it has been brought up in many responses – we are going to talk about it. The statement of vendors giving influencers or those with higher Instagram followers getting better service, treatment, and faster responses in terms of receiving their product has come up. If this is true, this needs to stop. All clients regardless of if they do not want to be shared on social media, have a private Instagram account, or if they are an influencer all need to be treated with the same level of service, respect, and quality when hired by a vendor. All of these people pay a vendor for a service, and there is no need for special and preferential treatment. At the end of the day, your paying clients bring you revenue and business. Instagram and social media may play a part in it, but someone who truly researches a vendor and books them is where you really take off with your clientele.
7.Last but not least, if you’re having an event or your wedding – you really look forward to getting your photos and videos to look back on and enjoy with your family. You almost sometimes look forward to them the day after your wedding and of course it’s natural, after all it’s your wedding. Remember that vendors do need some time to carefully edit and produce the service to their standard and quality – so please do not harass your vendors a week after your wedding or unreasonably earlier than anticipated. As a vendor, also understand that most of the services as part of the wedding for the couple has been completed already. You get your venue, makeup, food, decoration all completed in that one day – but the photos and videos are something that require time in order to receive the final products. This is the last thing the client is waiting on as part of their big day. Weddings and such events are a special day for the couple and family involved, and they truly look forward to receiving their photos and videos from the day. Your client may only have one event like this in their entire life, while you as a vendor have so many you capture. Just a bit of perspective!
These are some of our learning we wanted to share to our followers and fellow vendors on this matter. If you have any feedback, questions or concerns with something written above, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Hopefully, these few words of advice have some sort of impact in how future bookings and interactions are handled.
Tie The Thali
Featured Images by: Treasured Photography