Because today’s world revolves around instantaneous communication, response time is very important. An untimely response to an inquiry or request often indicates poor customer service to your potential clients, and a consistently slow response time can result in the loss of multiple customers and the associated revenue.
If you respond to a lead within 5 minutes rather than 30 minutes, you’re 100 times more likely to turn a lead into a client. Responding quickly to any client communication could mean the difference between getting the sale and losing out to a faster Pro.
Use the following tips to help improve your response time and streamline the response process!
Try to respond within 24 hours. Even if you just reply to let them know you’ve received their email but you’re very busy, it helps the couple to know whether or not you check your email on a regular basis. It doesn’t take much to send a quick reply explaining that you are short on time and will get back to them as soon as you have a free moment. This could be accomplished with an auto-reply email or a personalized email response. Don’t forget that many couples reach out to multiple Pros at once, so you don’t want to miss out.
Be careful with auto-responders. Auto-reply emails are a great idea in theory, but the details can sometimes cause Pros to slip up. You don’t need to fully describe your services or go through your business’ mission statement in your auto-reply email! You want to find the sweet spot where you’re providing helpful, valuable information but without repeating everything they’ve already read on your website. You’ll also want to keep it conversational so that your auto-responder doesn’t seem so mechanical. For more auto-reply best practices, use our Pro Tips.
As the wedding industry continues to evolve and become even more reliant on the internet, the ways in which couples reach out to prospective Wedding Pros is changing as well. Now, more than ever, couples are doing their due diligence by researching Pros and reaching out to multiple options at once – all online!
Sometimes it may be difficult to get back in touch after a prospective client submits an inquiry, which may make it feel as though your inquiries are not converting into bookings. Follow these do’s and don’ts of responding to inquiries to make sure you’re turning all your leads into bookings!
Return all contact in a timely fashion. Because most couples are reaching out to multiple Pros at once, you want to be sure to get back in touch quickly. Whether it’s by email or by phone, set time aside during your day to get caught up.
If you’re using Inquiry Questionnaires, keep them short! Remember that too many questions can scare off potential clients by being too long to read or answer. If the couple is indeed reaching out to multiple Pros, they likely don’t want to spend the time to read through a lengthy questionnaire.
- Pro Tip: Stick to the basics with questions like: “What is the best way to reach you?” or “What is your event date?”
Be sure to answer any questions asked in the initial inquiry. Many initial leads will reference price – keep in mind that just because a potential client asks about your pricing does not mean they are price shopping. Most of your clients have never been married before and simply may not be educated about the pricing for your services!
- Pro Tip: If giving pricing is specific to each client – still give them a starting price, or an average.
With the end of engagement season and the start of wedding planning for all the newly engaged couples right around the corner, your business is going to be managing an influx of inquiries. Being able to manage your new inquires, your current clients and your already-booked events can be a lot to juggle!
WeddingWire launched a variety of tools in our Clients tab to help Premium Pros manage their clients throughout all phases of the booking process, from first inquiry to payment. These tools will help you run your business more smoothly by streamlining the process for you as well as your clients. Two of the ways you can quickly and easily improve your efficiency is by taking advantage of WeddingWire inquiry Questionnaires and auto response emails.
With our Questionnaire tool you can build a custom questionnaire for your prospective clients to complete before you even speak with them. This will make your first conversation more productive, as you already have the basic questions out of the way and you can spend time with the client and deciding if they are the right fit for you.
Haven’t used an inquiry questionnaire before? Not sure of questions to ask prospective clients?
Think basic – What is their event date? What is their wedding theme? How many guests will be attending? What is the best time to connect with them to discuss your services further? Keep in mind that most couples are reaching out to multiple vendors for more information about their services – don’t make your questionnaire too long. For examples of questions to include for your service category, see this post about the benefits of a questionnaire!
Be strategic – Ask your prospective clients how they found your business. You’ll want to know how they found you, and asking when it’s still fresh in your client’s mind is likely going to yield better results than waiting until later. Ask specific questions like, “Have you read any reviews about my business?” to get more details on their search process.
Whether your wedding and event business is large or small, obtaining and keeping more customers is an important business priority, and can be challenging! Engaged couples often “shop around” for their Perfect Pros and contact several at a time. Your business needs to first capture their attention to get an inquiry but you’ll also need to keep their attention from the first contact to a signed contract.
Lead management is the ability to capture, respond to and manage incoming leads. Lead management is a process that should start even before the first inquiry and continue throughout the entire lifecycle. Having a successful lead management process in place helps educate engaged couples about your business and helps you understand more about potential clients, which will lead to more bookings!
Premium WeddingWire Pros have a variety of tools that help them manage incoming leads and turn them into customers. Below are the 4 strategies for successful lead management!
Make it easy for prospects to submit inquiries.
The best way to get more inquiries is to make it extremely easy for engaged couples to contact you! We’ve made it easy with a large, blue Contact Us button that appears on your Storefront and feeds directly to your inquiries in the Clients tab. In addition to the Contact Us button on your Storefront, we provide you with several other ways to collect inquiries. You can find the code for a Contact Us button widget for your business’s website in our Widget Gallery. This widget will add the same Contact Us button to your website and feed it directly to your WeddingWire account. Having this widget in multiple places makes it easy for couples to contact you no matter where they first learn about your business!
Use questionnaires to qualify your leads.
An inquiry is just the first step in the process of lead management. When an engaged couple submits an inquiry, they’re not likely to give you all the information you need. Couples use inquiries to decide if you’re a good fit for them, but how do you know if the couple is a good fit for you? Our Questionnaires give you the flexibility to request all of your must-have information before an event, ensuring that you have all the details you need. Create and send questionnaires to potential clients before they sign a contract and you’ll be able to decide whether or not the couple fits in with your schedule and would benefit from your goods or services. You can customize your questionnaires for each client, and to ask the questions that are most important for your business category.
Many times, an engaged couple submits a number of inquiries to several potential wedding professionals when trying to determine who to select for their big day. These inquiries are a way for engaged couples to decide if you’re a good fit for them, but you can also use this as an opportunity to decide if the couple is a good fit for your services. You may find yourself needing more information about the engaged couple in order to best serve their needs, and determine if they are a match for your business.
Good news! WeddingWire recently added the Questionnaire feature to the Clients tab for upgraded pros, which allows you to create and send a questionnaire to potential clients before they sign a contract in order to gather some more information about their day and needs in a safe and custom Client Site. If you haven’t used this feature yet, below are a few sample questions, broken down by category, to include in your client questionnaire to help qualify potential clients:
- What is the time of your event?
- Are you looking for any specific style?
- Do you need music for ceremony, cocktail hour and/ or reception?
Beauty and Health:
- How many people will need appointments?
- Do you want hair and makeup done on-site or at the salon?
- Are you interested in other services like airbrushing, waxing or extensions?
- How many total guests are you expecting?
- Are you offering gluten free or vegetarian options?
- Are you looking for buffet or plated meal?
- How many total guests are you expecting?
- Are you looking for an indoor or outdoor wedding?
- Are you looking for on-site coordinators?