Be good to your customers and they’ll be yours for life

One of my most favorite print companies moved from Northern California to Colorado last year. I literally could order something before noon and have it my hands by the next day. It was crazy fast. The quality was good too, especially the press products (like a business card).

Today I called the company to see if I could get my order switched from UPS to USPS, because unfortunately UPS does not deliver on Saturday. I placed my order yesterday and forgot they no longer operate in Cali. I also won’t get my order until…Tuesday.

This makes me so sad. I had to upgrade just to see the order by tomorrow. And to top it off, they couldn’t put my print order in the box with the cards. Apparently the shipping department couldn’t do this either…no exceptions. Unless I upgraded the print order too. For 20 bucks.

They have apparently gotten-

1) Too big for their britches (as in I know the shipping department and print department are in the same building, and why can’t someone can’t just walk in and place my prints in a box that is going out. Seriously).

And 2).  Forgotten what customer service is all about.

My takeaway from this experience (because one must always learn from their mistakes. I didn’t order early enough, so as much as I want to ‘blame’ the print lab, it’s ultimately my fault for not getting the prints in time. Yes I know this)…What is comes down to is customer service.  Or the lack of in their case.  I do take the blame for the late delivery date. It is my fault. I should have known better. But the feeling of the lack of care within the small company is what I don’t understand. So for this I ask myself – what it is I can do to prevent this feeling in my small business. I would NEVER want my customers to feel this way EVER.

EVER.

And YOU? What do you do to prevent customers (or clients) from feeling unimportant? I’d love to hear your ways of lifting your clients up!

 

Which reminds me…just about a month ago I got this facebook post from a past client. Yep. It made my day to hear how happy I made Jessica! She was a wonderfully beautiful bride and one of the best clients I have worked with to date. So sweet and genuine.

 

ps – I ordered prints last week from three different pro labs. Although I’m not officially done (I am going to make some prints at our local drug store, Costco and Walmart) and I have all the prints side by side, I plan on blogging about what I found. More on that next week!

Two Bright Lights and being published

Having a wedding published, as a wedding photographer, somehow makes us feel legit. I mean, I know my wedding images are great and my clients think they are great – but for whatever reason, it’s such a wonderful feeling to know a wedding blogger thinks they are awesome too, awesome enough to grace the virtual pages of their blog.

Last year I signed up for Two Bright Lights just after Katie + Justin’s wedding. If you are not familiar with Two Bright Lights, and you’re in the wedding industry, you should definitely check them out. As a photographer, it’s super easy to upload images, fill out a little bit of information about the clients and the vendors we worked with and submit to various blogs.

I submitted Katie’s wedding to Grey Likes Weddings, and literally what seemed like minutes (okay, maybe that’s just a slight exaggeration, but it wasn’t more than two days) Summer had emailed me wanting to publish their wedding day on the blog. I mean, really. What’s not to love about their wedding – take a look at the post for yourself.  You might find yourself drooling…be warned! 😉

My 2012 brides will find their wedding published as well. There is a wedding blog out there for anyone – rustic, vintage, country, big budget, small budgets…and I can’t wait!

It’s not always about the details, but it does help. As a wedding photographer, I like these little pieces. They help tell the story. They make your day just a little more personal. A little more YOU.

Speaking of a little more you – I want to end this post with a couple photos from Jess & Josh’s wedding day. Handmade jam from fruit picked at her grandmother’s house. Can’t get anymore personal than that!

This just in…Another wedding from August (and one from my girls at Mendocino Wedding & Events) will be published within the next few weeks. Ceremony at the Overlook and lunch at Mendo Bistro. Organic & Classy. Perfection.

 

Ukiah Wedding Faire, January 29 2012 (Ukiah, California)

If you’re wondering, no I will not be promoting my services at this wedding faire. I have never done a bridal show and I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea. If you haven’t noticed yet, there are THOUSANDS of wedding photographers at these things. For me and my personality, I do a lot better one-on-one, getting to know you and what you want from your wedding photographer – and whether or not we’d be a good fit.  These faires do work though, and I have a few wedding vendor friends who WILL be there. If you see them, make sure you give them a big hug from me!

Barra of Mendocino. Katrina is the Event Director and she’s super sweet and awesome to work with. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive venue, this is the place!

Assaggiare Mendocino. Julia is an amazing caterer. Her food is unreal and you will NOT be disappointed.

Blue Moon Signature Weddings. Linda is the owner and operator. She can help you plan your big day, help with day-of or a little bit of both.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden.  You can’t go wrong with a wedding in the Dahlia Garden. Carmen is the girl to talk to.

I’m also a preferred vendor with all four vendors I listed above. They know me, and trust me. They love my work and know I can give clients the attention they want and deserve. Having a good working relationship with other wedding vendors is key to a successful wedding day.

 

Have fun at the faire! And if you see me there, make sure you say HI! I promise, I don’t bite! 🙂

Raining

It’s been a long time since we’ve had some rain. I knew it would come, but I really didn’t mind the wait.

I knew all it took was for me to schedule a session outside (which I did for this weekend). And sure enough the rain has started and doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.  So we will reschedule our session for a few weeks down the road.

Which got me thinking…are you a bride planning your wedding on the Mendocino Coast? If you are, and the ceremony and/or reception is outside, you may want to have a backup plan just in case. Mother nature has a way of changing our plans in a quick hurry, so it’s never a bad idea to have a Plan B on your wedding day.

But in the meantime, while I wait for wedding season to kick into high gear, I will sit and relax.

Right now, from my computer desk I have a view of green grass and an overflowing bird bath. The sound of the rain is so relaxing, and my office is very warm from the fire in the fireplace…makes me wish I had a couch in here!

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