How can you, as an event planner, maximize referrals and get repeat event customers?
The long-term success of every business is depends on satisfying customers with exceptional service.
But it’s even more critical to a service-oriented business such as an event planner than, say, a company that sells DVD’s. If I walked into a DVD shop in search of a good movie, sure, I would love for the teenage cashier working for minimum wage to politely welcome me to the store, or even recommend a flick.
But if I walk out of there with an awesome movie and the price was right it’s not going to ruin my day if that employee barely even acknowledged my presence. I go to a DVD shop looking for a movie, not for attention. Chances are I’ll go back again if I like their movie selection and prices regardless of how helpful the employees were.
Conversely, if I were to hire a wedding planner that lacked customer service skills, my big day would be ruined and, instead of referring that wedding planner to friends, I would leave a negative review.
Would you do the same?
I’m not telling you this to be harsh
I’m telling you this so you understand the customer’s mind and the importance of providing excellent service
Now, let’s flip the script and create a more positive scenario in which the wedding planner helped make the big day perfect. Because, in this scenario, you get the desired results from your wedding planner, the next time someone you know is getting married you’ll refer them to your wedding planner.
The formula for success isn’t tricky.
Satisfy your customers and your bills will be paid, and probably nice cars and memorable weekend trips to Las Vegas as well. If you follow these 5 tips to satisfy customers, I guarantee your event planning business will soon see a significant increase in referrals:
5 Ways To Increase Referrals
Need more business? Then start getting more referrals! Referrals are the backbone of every successful event planning business.
Tip #1: Follow up after the event Even if your client appeared to be satisfied you still need to follow up soon after. Give your event customers a call the following day to thank them for their business and ask if the event went as expected. This shows them you care about them and not just a paycheck. Plus, it reminds them that you exist. By staying in contact you remain fresh in their minds if they need an event planner again, or know someone that does.
Tip #2: Deliver what you promise…and then some When planning an event for a client it is important to explain specifically what you are going to do for them before getting started. It’s even more important to deliver what you promise, at the bare minimum. If you promise your customer the music for the event will be top-notch, don’t book some random gal that claims to be the “best shower singer ever”. I don’t think you want to risk your reputation on a “shower singer”.
Tip #3: Ensure the event runs smoothly Let’s say you prepared for the event well and are confident in those you hired to take care of business. That’s a good thing. However, you’re the one responsible for the event running smoothly. Therefore, showing up on the day of the event to ensure the event goes as planned is a good idea. Trust the people you hire to do their jobs, but since your reputation is on the line, make sure they come through for you. If you notice they’re slipping up, call them out on it.
Tip #4: Build rapport with your customers Getting referrals goes beyond providing stellar service. Customers are more likely to refer someone they have established a relationship with. That means sending out Christmas cards and birthday cards, and getting to know them personally. I’m not saying you have to become BFF’s with your customers. But you should build some rapport.
Tip #5: Ask for referrals and repeat business This is the easiest way to get referrals and repeat business. Simply say, “it’s been my pleasure working with you, I would love to assist you with future events and would sincerely appreciate if you would pass on my phone number to friends and family members that could benefit from my services”. If they were happy with the services you provided, the response will always be, “absolutely! Referrals and repeat customers are the backbone of every successful event planning business.
Now I’d love to hear from you, in the comments below, share something special you do that helps you increase your referrals to get more event customers.
As always, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing each week. We’re a fast growing community!