Exceeding expectations will create raving fans
I can bet that just about anyone reading this blog would agree that when calling on a business for its services, we have high expectations from that business. In other words, we expect great service, quality, and price from a business, period. When a business can take care of your needs and deliver all you hoped for, there is less stress in your (my) life!
Obviously companies with great reputations retain and gain many happy customers and outperform their competition. Profound statement, I know. This brings me to the reason for this blog. I encountered a company recently that possessed all the qualities mentioned above and did a great job of exceeding expectations.
I just returned from a family vacation to Hilton Head, S.C. My family and I arranged to have our picture taken on the beach. I did my research on various island photography companies beforehand and found that they all pretty much worked the same. All requested a sitting fee, about a half hour of picture taking, and then a follow up at the photography studio to choose photo enlargements.
Every studio had a fantastic website and all seemed friendly to talk to on the phone. So I asked myself, since all of the photographers I researched operated pretty much the same, how do I go about picking the right person for the job?
Here are the reasons why I chose IWL Photography studio to photograph my family. You certainly could apply these same reasons to any company you are interested in hiring.
What is included in the price: Since we never used a professional photographer before I had a lot of questions. Chris Littell, the owner, was very helpful in educating me on the process and made me feel comfortable enough to hire her. One of the deciding factors for me was, as Chris said, she has no limit on the number of pictures she takes. All she was concerned about was capturing the perfect moment and not about how many times her camera clicked.
Her answer told me that she has a commitment to quality. I was also very excited to hear that we were to receive all of the 4 x 6 proofs which were suitable for framing. Awesome! Sounds like a good value to me! So far, I learned from our conversation that IWL Photography upholds a high standard of quality and delivers more for the money.
Limitations or restrictions: I already learned that there were no limitations on the number of photographs taken. I asked if there were any hidden costs we needed to be aware of. There were none. In the case of this business, since we were shooting our photos on location, Chris preferred not to shoot if a thunderstorm was brewing. Um, I am with her since I like to crawl under furniture and hide during storms. Needless to say, I was fine with this limitation. Ask the right questions to determine what is included in the service and what is not.
Experience and knowledge of the service provided: I learned that Chris and her husband, Bill have been photographing on Hilton Head Island for over 20 years. They have experience in many categories of photography including pets, nature, and weddings. We wanted to hire someone who knew what they were doing since this was quite an investment. If you are investing a lot of time and money into a business, make sure the company matches your expectations to get the best outcome. Go ahead and ask those detailed questions and expect honest answers.
Personality: We found out right away after meeting Chris in person that she had a charming personality. My husband and I were impressed with how well she worked with our two children. Our boys felt at ease with "Miss Chris" as they called her. She was casual yet professional. She made sure we were in the right light and fixed our clothing when needed. As a result of her lovely personality, we felt comfortable with her and got great pictures that captured our family naturally. Personality is a big make or break component to lasting customer relationships.
Turnaround time: We had our pictures taken on a Tuesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon, Chris called and said the proofs were printed and ready for us to look at! Wow, we didn't expect them that quick! She handed us a box with one hundred and eleven 4 x 6 pictures inside and told us to take our time in getting back to her if we wanted any enlargements. It was only Wednesday and we still had the rest of our vacation week to enjoy.
We had the photo shoot and the pictures in our hands within a little over 24 hours! I would say that was great turnaround time! This is a big factor for many people. How long will I have to wait to get the product or service? Make sure you find out up front the time frame and hold the business accountable if they don't deliver.
Not only did we have a wonderful family vacation to Hilton Head Island but we came home with many beautiful memories captured on paper. Our experience with IWL Photography was exceptional and everything we were hoping it to be. I would highly recommend this business to anyone who is looking to hire a professional photographer while on the Island. They proved to be a business model which other companies could emulate. We all want to have a good experience when hiring a professional service. Customer satisfaction is what keeps business relationships going strong and people coming back for many years.
If you are interested in contacting IWL Photography, their contact information is: www.iwlphoto.com, (843) 785-6565. I want to mention that I have no affiliation with IWL other than just being a happy customer!
It's hard to create raving fans if your marketing materials are lousy.
Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true. Are you still using those outdated brochures and flyers you printed three years ago? Do you think your prospects won't notice?
We can help. The easiest solution is to begin with a marketing communication assessment conducted by The Murphy Agency. If you're like the rest of our clients, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get first-rate materials at an affordable price.