I ran across a story of a bride who was dissatisfied with her wedding photos.
What is the lesson from this experience?
It’s not, “Take better photos.” We all know we should learn more about our craft and do a good job. I suspect that the photographer did know how to do a better job, but he cut corners because he wasn’t being paid enough.
It’s not, “Avoid clients who are dumb and cheap.” You should walk away from some clients, but don’t be so quick to blame the customer. She is not an expert in photography, but that doesn’t make her stupid because that’s not her job.
For me, the lesson is that you need to communicate with your client. Don’t be a robot that produces exactly what she asks for. Your first task is to educate her on what options are available and how important they are. This particular bride admits that she could have spent more money. The photographer just didn’t ask her to.
In the early days of Alien Skin Software we sometimes dismissed customer suggestions or complaints because we thought we were smarter than them. These days if I hear that kind of comment I nip it in the bud. Assume your customers are smart. It’s not just good for business. It’s a happier way to live your life.
Derek Sivers wrote a great little article on thinking that other people are stupid.