Mapping your customer journey

What’s the one thing that you would do to make yourself stand out to your clients?

Running a successful photography business relies on delivering a great service to your clients in a timely manner. There’s many steps involved in doing that and it’s important to make sure that you know what your process is, including any special flourishes that help you to give your clients a great experience.

We spoke to Jennifer Sinclair about the journey she takes her clients on, and how Light Blue helps her to do that.

Jennifer is a specialist newborn baby photographer based near Fareham, Hampshire: “I like to provide an amazing newborn photography experience at a special time in peoples lives. I like to get to know clients and understand what they are looking for in a newborn photo session.”

Jennifer is very passionate about her business and invests time into providing her clients with the best photo experience that she can.

In 2019, Jennifer ended up having a couple of months enforced downtime in her business after an unfortunate accident involving a cellar door left her with a fractured hip. Since she was unable to shoot for a couple of months, Jennifer opted to put the time to good use.

As a trained business analyst, previously working for retail banks, Jennifer is very comfortable with the idea of planning out business processes.

When she had the time off, she used it to review those processes and put them into practice within Light Blue so that she could follow them consistently.

We asked Jennifer if spending time refining your business processes was worthwhile?

“I would encourage people, definitely. It was always on the to do list, and I’ve now benefited ever since. The key thing is mapping out that journey and experience for my customer. They feel like they’re your only customer.”

Keeping on top of day to day tasks

Light Blue’s daily task manager is so important to Jennifer. “Every customer gets the same journey.”

Jennifer sends gifts out to her clients and is prompted to do that at the right time. Now she’s able to look at her daily task list and see what needs to be done, then tick things off as she goes. Nothing gets forgotten and every client is looked after.

Delivering a premium service

We asked Jennifer how to deliver a premium service to her clients. “You need to build up relationship to create feeling of trust. Step away from the computer and put pen to paper to document the steps you go through in a customer journey.”

Jennifer’s nurture workflow has a series of emails that are sent in the run up to a session. One of those emails includes a photo of the studio that lets the client get familiar with the environment they’re going into. There’s another one about an example shoot with some details about the session, how it went, what was the experience for the customer etc.

Later in the series there’s another message designed to invite questions and input from the client so they feel like your more interested in them and their needs – “It’s important to ask questions,” says Jennifer, “so they don’t just feel like I’m there for the shoot and doing what I want”.

To give that extra special treatment, Jennifer sends nurturing gifts in the post at different times. She’s prompted to send them at the right time, and then reminded to contact the client to see if they’ve received their welcome pack and if they have queries.

You might also consider sending nurture emails after shoot, asking for review. Jennifer also shares “Baby love stories” on Facebook to get likes and shares from her clients which creates awareness.

With all her processes in place, Jennifer has a simple tick list to work through and her clients feels like they’ve got all queries answered.

Getting the process right

You should ask yourself “What do I want my end to end customer journey to be?”

“Light Blue is a major part of my business process, but there’s still things that happen outside of that which need to mesh in a complement what you’re doing. If you’ve applied that thought beforehand then the whole customer journey works well.”

Getting that structure right will save you time later. Once you’ve thought about the steps that are involved in your customer journey then you can put that into place with workflows in Light Blue.

You can build on those workflows and incorporate automated emails and texts whenever you’re ready.

What’s Jennifer’s advice to anyone thinking about spending time mapping out their processes: “You won’t regret it. It’ll make the consistency within your business so much better. It’ll help it no end.”

Advice for successfully putting this all into practice

Don’t worry about the tool that you’re using initially. Just think about the flow that will deliver the level of service that you want so that your clients leave happy and refer more people to you.

Reflect on what you have been doing so far; what has been working well and what could you be doing differently?

With all that in mind, you can then build your workflows within Light Blue so they’re aligned with your goals. Adding email and text message automation is an evolution to add from there.