Wedding Industry Customer Service Standards
This is a little plea to the wedding industry about professionalism.
I am a bride to be as well as a wedding photographer, so I think I’m in a good position to be able to see things from two different perspectives.
As a bride to be, I am frustrated. Do you know why? It’s because I don’t think you’re taking my wedding as seriously as I need you to. And I don’t mean that to sound at all Bridezilla.
The wedding world has some lovely, creative, wonderful people in it but when I ask you for a quote and I’m still waiting for it a month later, when my last email has gone unanswered, when a supplier is rude or unhelpful to a client or unwilling to deliver what the client wants rather than what they think the client should want, then we have a problem.
These situations are more common than you’d expect, from what I hear from couples and people I talk to on Twitter.
It’s a problem that, frankly, makes me never, ever want to work with you. If you can’t manage to reply to an email, how can I trust you on my wedding day?
When you work in a call centre or for the Council or for any company providing services to customers, you generally work to a set of Service Standards.
These standards might say that you’ll reply to emails within 48 hours or that all letters will receive a reply within 10 working days and you’ll probably get an acknowledgement letter or email letting you know this.
Granted, these companies are frustrating to deal with in a whole different way but at least you know when you can expect a reply (even if it makes the vein in your neck throb…) and a reply from a person who isn’t (usually!) outwardly rude to you.
People’s dreams are built upon the wedding industry. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. Whether you’re having a budget wedding or a lavish affair, you have an idea of how you want it to be and a supplier has the power to either make that idea happen or make it much, much more stressful than it needs to be.
It’s a privilege to be invited to be a part of a couple’s wedding whether it’s as a supplier or someone who writes about it afterwards.
Bloggers, this also means you. It is unacceptable not to reply to an email sent to you by an excited bride who wants to show you her wedding, even if that wedding does not fit your brand. It takes five minutes to say thanks but no thanks.
Couples are our customers but we are also each other’s customers and everyone should receive the same high level of service whether it’s a couple that are getting married, a big wig within the industry or a small supplier that’s trying to make their mark.
Good manners cost nothing and it’s nice to be nice.
Because I felt so strongly about this, I drafted some Wedding Industry Service Standards. What do you think? Could you sign up to these standards? What should be added/taken away.
• Because of the variable nature of our business hours, if we are unable to reply within the following time scales we will let you know when you can expect to receive a full response
• We will acknowledge receipt of ALL emails and letters within two working days and provide you with a full response within 10 working days. If we can’t provide a full reply within 10 working days, we will let you know when you can expect a reply.
• We will respond to all voice mails and telephone calls within 48 working hours
• If for any reason we are unlikely to be able to respond to voice mails and telephone calls within 48 working hours we will set a voice mail message that states how quickly we are likely to be able to reply
• We will be nice and polite
• We will listen to you, our customers, and not assume that we know what best suits YOUR wedding
• We will of offer advice and assistance where ever possible to help your day to run more smoothly
• We will treat all customers equally regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual preference, colour, age or status within the wedding industry