Elevating the Client Experience

I don’t build in order to have clients.  I have clients in order to build. -Ayn Rand

At our design firm, 95% of our client base is millenials.  Being a millenial myself, I often evaluate the ‘experience’ that I (as a consumer) appreciate, expect, and am drawn to.

Like all industries, we (as wedding professionals) are always evaluating competition and developing innovative methods to stand out amongst the crowd.  This can include annual marketing initiatives through print and web media, participating in bridal shows, attending industry events and/or professional development conferences, workshops, and seminars, and expanding our product offering.  Often, we spend little time on understanding our clients themselves and the importance of providing an impactful customer service experience.

In a marketplace of human connection, personalization, and emotion, the ‘client experience’  becomes the driving force in enhancing your business.  My team and I are continually refining the ‘client experience’.  At PARAS Events we refer to this as our ‘Client Concierge’ program.

These are ways my team and I elevate the client experience:

1) Welcome clients into your ‘space’.  Personalize the experience.  Show your clients that you appreciate the time they took to meet with you.  Acknowledge their presence and their spirit.

2) Show your hospitality.  You are inviting clients into your ‘home’.  Be an incredible host and entertain your clients, ensure they are comfortable, and set the mood.  Take the time to connect with them on a personal level.

3) Communicate the experience your clients will have with your firm.  What will the journey or process be like with your firm?  What do you and your business value most in establishing a meaningful friendship with your clients?  Determine how you will make this connection.  (I am continually working on this part of the experience, I will let you know how I am doing).

4) BE GENUINE.  We are not here to ‘pitch’ to our clients.  Our priority is to form a partnership, business relationship, and friendship with all of our clients.  Be truly invested in your clients success.  Be real and represent yourself in its truest form.  Establish a human connection.

5) Streamline your procedures and set realistic expectations.  Clearly define your expectations and what your clients expect from you.  Be realistic.  Do your clients expectations exceed your (and your businesses) physical limits or ability?  Ensure you can deliver on your promises.  This includes timely responses to all written and verbal communications, transparency with your client, and humility and owning up to your errors or lapse(s) in the service experience.  Build confidence and trust at a time when it is desired the most (more on this topic in March).

Earlier this month, I posted an important message on my social media channels:

“Celebrate your clients -they are your biggest fans and brand ambassadors and allow you to be in the best industry on the planet.”

Embrace this message when developing your client experience strategy.

This week, document your service experience.  Put yourself in your clients shoes.  Would you be pleased with the service experience your firm currently provides?

What are your best practices for elevating the client experience?

Have a wonderful week!


Reflections: The New Luxury

The first installment of our brand new blog feature: Reflections.  A weekly dose of inspiration, motivation, and virtual hugs delivered directly to you!

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Friend Feature: Corina V Photography

Today, I would like to welcome my good friend Corina Van Sluytman to our ‘Designers Guild’.  Corina is a part of my curated support network of friends.  We share a camaraderie that is based on trust, support, and loyalty -qualities she implements into her business as evident through her wonderful rapport with all her clients.

Her photography can be found in many industry leading media including The Knot, Style Me Pretty, and WeddingBells.  Corina’s beautiful photography will also be in the pages of my book available this Fall.

Please visit Corina’s website at www.corinavphotography.com to fully experience the beauty of her work and commitment to each and every client.

Happy Valentines Day

Sending all of my friends and family Valentine’s Day wishes!  Appreciate and enjoy all the love you have in your life!  Surround yourself with the positivity and radiance of those that show you love and bring love into your life.

From my team to yours!


Going At Your Own Pace

I have a new appreciation for the ‘journey’.  When I began my career in events ten years ago, I had difficulty accepting the amount of time it was going to take to get to where I wanted to be.  I looked at the success of my mentors and established event entrepreneurs and couldn’t wait to be at that stage in my career.  I had no appreciation for the journey at the time.  A true millennial, I wanted it all and I wanted it immediately.  I wanted a trophy just for showing up.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned so far in my journey, is the importance of going at my own pace.   We are all familiar with the expression ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’.  As much as we may be aware of it in our personal lives, this concept becomes overlooked when we are dealing with our own businesses.

Often, we allow ourselves to become distracted by the progress of others.  We question our business decisions and cloud ourselves in self doubt.  Experience has taught me to remain confident in myself, my craft, and the development of my business.  Most important of all, I have learned to remove myself from the vicious cycle of ‘comparison’.  There is nothing wrong with ‘comparison’, until you begin to use it against yourself and your business.

Going at your own pace is especially important in the wedding industry of 2013 when ‘comparison’ is so easy through social media streams and the various print and web media that is accessible.  We are put in a position to be everything to everyone.  We begin to make business decisions based on an attempt to ‘fit in’ or fear of being ‘forgotten’ instead of true business growth and development.  We participate in campaigns that have more to do with personal pride than brand development, business growth, and revenue generation.  Unfortunately, this can have some serious emotional and financial repercussions.

This morning, Simon T. Bailey tweeted: “Don’t swim upstream with everybody else, shift and move the other way”.

These are some of the ways I practice going at my own pace:

-Throughout the year, I begin to identify my business goals and establish realistic weekly, monthly, and yearly milestones.

-I constantly assess my areas of strength and weakness and evaluate the status of my business.  I invest in business development opportunities that fuel the growth of my business, not my ego.

-I establish a routine for myself, which includes time with friends and family and enjoying my hobbies and pastimes.

-In recent months, I have learned to limit my use of social media to specific criteria I have set for myself.  This includes terms of use and volume/degree of engagement (more on social media coming in March).

-I always stress the importance of having a curated network of friends and family that are committed to you and support your success.  For me, nothing beats a pep talk from mom.

This week, create a timeline of the journey you have taken with your business.  What are the significant milestones along this journey?  What worked?  What didn’t?

Turns out, the ‘journey’ is the ultimate learning experience.

Have a wonderful week,


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