Make It Right With An Unhappy Client
As photographers we think this job is going to be all glamorous, however it doesn’t normally take us long to realize it’s not all it looks like from the outside. We have to deal with legal paperwork, scheduling, marketing, and customer service. No matter who you are eventually your going to deal with a unhappy client. Even if it’s not always something you’ve done, you still have to learn how to deal with the situation graciously and from a business perspective.
Don’t Take It Personal
Your first response as a creative artist is to take it personally. We typically pour so much of ourselves into our work that it’s hard to find separation between business and personal for us. However, your client probably does not have anything personally held against you or they would of never hired you to be their photographer. They simply have a issue with the work and that can be for a number of reasons (the way they look, the pose, the angles, the editing). It all comes down to they paid for a service and they are not happy with it. It’s business not personal. You need to make this right even if it was not your fault if at all possible with in the bounds of your contract.
Dig Deep To Find The Problem
Sometimes you might not get any response other that just “I am not happy with these.” or “They are not what I expected.” You need to ask the client specifically what they do not like. If the client does not like themselves in the photo you can offer a re-shoot. If they don’t like the editing then you work on that. You need this information. To correct the problem, you have to know exactly what is wrong to fix it.
Fix The Issue And Move On
Fix the issue. Yes, I said fix it. Within the promises and constraints of your contract with the client fix the issue. Re-edit, re-shoot, whatever you have to do come up with some sort of resolution you both can be happy with to fix the solution. Don’t get on a high horse. You will attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. 😉 Wouldn’t you rather be known as the photographer that bent over backwards to deliver an experience?
End On A Good Note
Literally, be sure to send out a handwritten thank you card at the very least to your client. If you want to go above and beyond add in a $15 Starbucks gift card or some prints. Customer care and customer service wins every time.
Thoughts? Tips? Advice? Leave them in the comments below.