How to Deal with Unsatisfied Clients

Dear Rima

I need your very straight advice. What if you have a very annoying client who is not satisfied with the photoshop we do for her wedding album? As she saw her cousin’s images that I took, she started to complain that her images is not as good compared to her cousin although her cousin spent way more money on the decoration and other details. What do I do with her??

Please. Please. Give me your advice please!

Sincerely,
Severely Annoyed

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Dear Severely Annoyed,

I know exactly how you feel. The third year of my business, I had a client who just wasn’t happy with her photos. Apparently she didn’t like the curtain color in the room & believe me there were just 2 rooms in her suite. The other one had a huuuuge bed & no space for the couple or my team to stand.ย I mean, I am a photographer, not the hotel’s interior decorator.

Now that I know better, I’ve become very open about this with the brides and I discuss these details in advance like: its not my style to change the backgrounds of the photos so they let me know if they like one room of the suite better than the other, if they have a preferred face-side, if they have marks/scars that they worry about, etc.

**Here is my advice to you love: you may ask the bride to meet you (or your editor) in person and make the changes exactly how she wants them to be.

At the end of the day, she’s the client and its her wedding photos. I completely understand that some clients are harder to please but I suggest you schedule plenty of time to meet her in person. Meeting her will validate two things: (1) you care and are willing to do anything in your power to make her happy & (2) it’ll fasten up the process and you can finish the albums ASAP.

Always put extra care, be extra polite, and try to be super fast with the clients who may turn out to be not-so-easy. Just so you can finish and deliver their albums in less time.

I hope you stay strong, give a top-notch service to the bride, and take your customer-service to the next level. The best thing will be when this specific bride refers you to her family/friends for your ahmazing service, inshaAllah!

Love,
~ Rima

Should You Turn Away Business?

Hello Photographer Friends,

A follower of mine sent a message on my Instagram asking “if you have a soon to be client and she said that her budget cannot afford your price, will you go with her on her wedding or you will decline her?”

I literally cringed after reading her question! In the past 6 years of my photography business, this has happened way more than I want to admit that a bride really likes my work but can’t afford me. And although it has always been a difficult conversation to navigate, I have managed both – adjusted package and worked cost-to-cost as well as politely & gracefully turned down jobs that didn’t fulfill my brand or covered costs.

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To answer the question in detail, if a wedding photographer should turn away business or not”, here is my advice:

  1. First and foremost, the decision should be based on supply and demand. If the wedding season and/or demand is low, absolutely go for it by adjusting to her budget.
  2. Secondly, if the client hasn’t signed the contract, payment not received, and the date isn’t locked – you are in the negotiation portion of your agreement. My advice is to be honest with her. Explain to her why you are charging what you are charging or make her a new package based on her budget/requirements.
  3. Cover your costs. At all cost! If the bride’s budget will not cover the cost of your travel, videographer, album-designing time, and printing; then its best that you don’t offer those services because you’ll have to pay for them yourself.
  4. Ask questions about other wedding vendors she’s hiring. May be she’s working with a wedding vendor that you have been wanting to work with & that can be an opportunity to grow your business in future (please cover your costs though).
  5. If you decide to turn away the business, go the extra mile and refer her other photographer(s) in your area who may be a better fit for her.

If your heart continues to feel dissatisfied even before signing the contract, the chances are both parties will be left unhappy at the end. It’s a tough conversation to have but I’m sure you’ll find a way to make sure that she’s well taken care of – by you or another wedding photographer.

Best of Luck,
~ Rima