I photographed an out-of-town wedding this weekend so I ended up on a plane. I like to get to the airport early to try to take advantage of my elite status and get a free upgrade to business class. The procedure goes like this – you loiter around the desk, wait for the agent to switch the flight status from the last flight over to your flight and then you walk up and inquire about available upgrades. You can see the other desperate souls hanging around waiting to do the same thing you are and you try to balance when you go up to the agent because you know from experience that if you go up and inquire about this flight before they close out the last flight they get testy.
And that’s the problem. The agent provides a service. I’ve been offered a perk that I’m entitled to attempt to take advantage of. Don’t treat me like an asshole for trying to take advantage of it. Remember that being a loyal customer is what put me in the position to ask for the perk.
See, customer service is going to hell because providing a service has turned into a shameful thing at worst and a total nuisance at best. I don’t like feeling like I’m putting someone out for trying to execute on the service that I paid for.
We have to remember to check ourselves prior to wrecking ourselves, so to speak. Instead of complaining about your clients – be nice. Never forget that no matter how creatively or artistically you view yourself, your photography business is providing a service. So provide it with a smile and be nice. If the client asks for something that you find strange, outside of your comfort zone or contract, or perhaps offensive to your sensibilities, don’t immediately freak out. Try to understand where they are coming from and think about things from their perspective – be nice.
If you provide a service, think about the client before you think about yourself. Yes, their request might be stupid, crass, undoable, outside of scope of what you offer, or whatever. But the client isn’t an asshole – they have paid for a service and they may have a legitimate want or need and you’re the person that they believe they’ve paid to make it happen. Before you RED FLAG this human being put your own discomfort aside and see things from their perspective. Find a way to be nice instead of offended.