When Isaac Traenkenschuh joined the team full time in 2016, the company was primed and ready for growth.
Isaac immediately saw their photography and videography crew were highly skilled, already providing exceptional service and unmatched quality to their clients. The demand for service was so high, however, sometimes clients were left without a timely response back because of the volume of calls and emails coming in to their office. This left clients and team members confused, frustrated, and sometimes upset.
I was able to execute creative solutions over the course of the three years there, to help move clients through the booking and service process quicker:
Their original website was beautiful, but lacked content and clarity that would immediately gain trust of new clients. The team and I came to the decision to keep the look and feel of their original design, but reorganize, and add more work examples to showcase their strengths.
The new website functions as a landing page to first gain the trust of new clients, by providing social proof and work examples. We gave existing clients buttons to jump quickly to book appointments online and to see pricing.
Realtors are usually in their car driving when they need an appointment, so if they go to the website, it’s going to be through their phone. With this in mind, the team and I designed the site in a mobile layout first, to make sure everything was easy to get to by phone internet browser.
We designed a schedule appointment button that stays fixed at the top of the mobile screen for easy “one click” access. The mobile menu links also change contextually based on which page the viewer is on. My goal with the limited menu was to gently guide users down the sales funnel to schedule an appointment. Clarity, and ease of use was top priority.
Online, Smart Booking Form
Originally the only way to book appointments or learn about pricing and services was through the office admin by phone and email. There was no pricing menu online. This created a bottleneck when service requests became too numerous. New clients would ask the same basic questions repeatedly, and as the office administrator, I would have to build their trust through the phone to land sales. New clients were also hesitant to commit since the original website was not clear on pricing. They didn’t just want to hear the price over the phone; seeing the prices and services displayed publicly online as a website helped build trust tremendously.
Unfortunatly, booking a photography shoot is not as simple as adding a time to a calendar because their photography service times change based on specific appointment factors involved, like sun direction and weather. This required office staff to personally ask clients a list of questions to clients to narrow down what was needed specificly to each appointment request. When combining the time consuming question list with the amount of calls and emails coming in at once, it became a business bottleneck. It’s like having a single person entryway into your store. A business may have many resources to offer, but if only a few clients can be serviced at a time, waiting times become long, and clients become upset.
The team and I solved this by adding a programmed, smart online booking form that would change dynamically, based on what answers the user clicked on. The form then emailed the appointment request information to the office staff for final calendar placement. The form reduced having incomplete appointment information from clients, the redundancy of question asking for the office staff, and it gave power to the clients to be able to give all the information needed to book appointments at their leisure, even when the office staff were with other clients, or after office hours.
Clear Services & Pricing
The team clarified and organized the company’s core services into clear price packages and publicly displayed them online. This gave clients a sense of trust; clients could expect what was offered, at what price was expected to be payed. Public base pricing allowed new clients to shop and browse at their leisure before contacting the company.
New Client On-Boarding Guidelines
New clients were given informational onboarding guides so they knew exactly what to expect before, during, and after photoshoots. This increased client trust and loyalty. After the first photoshoot, new clients were impressed by the team’s personal care to guide them through the entire photoshoot from first call to final delivery. Our recomendations to new clients increased because of our quality of service and personal guidance through the proffesional service.
Originally, team members could easily be swindled by dishonest or abusive clients that would manipulate using false information. “He said, she said”, conversations caused confusion between staff members.
The team and I worked together through various team meetings to organize member roles into specific functions. We also clarified the team hierarchy to refer client concerns to the correct department or person. With these strategies in place, we insured team members could have peace of mind knowing what their responsibilities were, and who clients could talk to if they needed more assistance beyond the team member’s role.
These team building strategies defended the company against misinformation that could potentially result in lost profit and upset team members. Client support also increased due to the reorganization.
I believe open communication and honesty is very important to building trust between staff and clients.
When delays and complications came up during projects, the team and I worked on specific ways to communicate with the clients that would create peace and lower stress. Honesty and integrety became key, along with “on the pulse” updates. If something happened that was not expected, as the centeral office persion, I made sure the client knew first, and I would update them as the situation progressed.
Often times, clients did not mind delays or complications as long communication was kept open; knowing right away when there might be the possibility of one. This gave clients enough time to plan and communicate to their own clients.