In the Brewer Hierarchy of Business ™ I preach about the importance of customer service at each level of the pyramid. If you haven’t heard about the Hierarchy, it is simple; In business you need suspects to become prospects, prospects to become customers and customers to repeat and refer. One of the most important factors of customer service in the Wedding Industry is timing. When a Bride is looking to potentially do business with you, she is in her own world and she is on a mission. If you are not there, she will go forward to the next potential business and rarely return to give you another try. For that reason, I have come up with a few suggestions for to take a self analysis. 1. Answer your phone live. Have your phone forwarded to your cell (also referred to as a “sell” phone) when you are not in the office. When you meet with other clients, ask their permission at the beginning if you can answer the phone if it rings (as in, “Would you mind if I answered the phone if it happens to ring-I am a one person operation and may be needed”) Of course, you would need to keep it brief and ask the person calling if you can call them right back as soon as you are done. The power of answering the phone live is crucial to getting more Brides. If you do not or cannot answer the phone live, hire a service to do it for you. The cost of these services will be made up because you have more leads which will lead to more appointments. 2. Answer you emails within 1 hour. Some of you may be thinking I am nuts for suggesting this. You need time to run your business, and it is hard to focus solely on the web. Many of us were not raised as an internet generation, but our Brides were. They are used to getting live help, immediate answers and being able to get what they want when they want it. I do NOT recommend auto responders. While this technology is very helpful, nobody likes being treated as a number and the technology of auto responders can tend to make the Bride feel less important. It would also be worth your investment to get a blackberry and be able to immediately answer your emails with a quick response. This will lead to Brides taking the next step on the Buying Ladder which will increase the number of appointments which translates to an increase in business. 3. Update your web presence often. Whether it is with on your web page (I recommend that you have half static information and half dynamic- a blog or updated weddings or something that may keep Brides coming back) or it is an application like Face book (I recommend updating at least twice a week with pertinent content). Brides will connect and stay connected if they like your stuff. There is also Power of Now in setting goals and follow up. The Power of Now is essential to the business of Brides, but it is also essential to your personal well being. Getting into the habit of putting things off will rust your well being. Too much of it will corrode to the point to where it is hard to function. Further, having the opposite effect is not waiting to get things done and getting them off your plate. A study was done with waiters at restaurants. The study was looking at the power of the mind in remembering and the capacity for learning. In the study, they found that the waiters and waitresses had great capacity for remembering any of their current orders without assistance. They further found that 5 minutes after their current guests had cleared their checks and left, they had forgotten almost completely the order. The study concluded that the mind was geared towards clearing up loose ends to enable itself to better function. With the Power of Now, you can clear up loose ends as well as be more effective with the projects you have in the hopper right now. Joe Vitale says, “The Universe likes Speed”. He suggests that going forward with too much hesitation will cause you to veer from your course (much like riding a bike too slow- you either spend all your energy just keeping it running or you fall off). Move forward with the Power of Now and you will find the success you are looking for.