I was speaking with a friend who had a bride who went sideways on him this week. It seems that even though everything that he contracted with her to do, she was upset at the end of the day and seemingly wanted to get a refund. Even though the infraction that she was upset about did not substantiate a total refund, she was upset. Fortunately for my friend, he is a very detailed oriented person and in the upper echelon of his category. Because of this, he had covered his bases, and she was the one at fault. Many times we do not consider customer service to be a moneymaking proposition. Yet, it is necessary for us to realize that if we do not cover our bases. We may be left holding the ball with the bride, who was angry and then vents all over the social media world. To make sure we cover our bases, let me share three areas which you may want to look at in your processes to make sure that you are not liable for something that was misunderstood.
1. Agreements in the beginning. It is crucial and vitally important to your business that you cover all bases in the beginning when you sign the contract. One technique that I advise my clients on is to start keeping notes about problematic areas within their communications and their actions with their clients. They can then take these areas and integrate them into their contract (with the help of a contract attorney) to ensure that they not only go over these areas with their clients, but to also reduce their liability. In the case of my friend, he had a clause that any outdoor weddings either a) require a tent or some form of covered structure or b) the event would end immediately upon rain. The bride chose not to spend the money on the tent and 30 min. before the end of the event is started to sprinkle, which left her with a few items that were incomplete within her wedding. Because my friend not only went over this with her, but also had in his contract (which she signed), he fully covered his bases.
2. Brides don’t pay attention. Brides have a lot coming at them in the planning of their wedding. They are buying things which they’ve never bought before, spending more money on those things than they’ve ever spend before, and getting conflicting information on how to buy and what to spend on those things. It is easy for them to miss the details. When we make sure that we cover those details with them, we provide better customer service to our clients, as well as head off potential problems. Sometimes it’s crucial that we be honest to the point that we may lose a client. Is my advice that it is better for you to lay your cards on the table and share your expertise with your potential client and potentially lose that contract then it is for you to gain the contract and not be able to meet the expectations of your client.
3. Intentions may be less than honorable. Believe it or not. Brides sometimes suffer from bridal buying remorse. They overspend on their weddings. And they regret it. In this regret, they sometimes act unscrupulously. In the case of my friend, he felt as though she was trying to get some form of a refund. I have had some of my clients tell me that brides in use the “I’ll give you a bad review” weapon unless you give me a refund. Again- when you have the documentation, it may help in overcoming this Bride. Further, if she is trying to force you to give her a refund , you can either A) let her follow up with her threats and post it all over the web and then respond to it, or have your attorney send her a letter. Again- if you cover situations like this in your agreement, it will help you to overcome these situations which don’t always pop up, but sometimes come your way.
Cover your bases and be detailed in what you know may happen and the Bride won’t think about until it is too late and your business will run smoother and be more productive.
What think you? Share your thoughts!
Until Next Week, Here’s to your Success!