How to improve the wedding industry’s reputation

Go onto any wedding forum and you will find lots of rants from brides-to-be about the wedding industry – poor service, rude staff, cancelled bookings and, of course, the number one favourite – cost.

Is our industry really that bad?

The high profile demise of Wrap-it last year plus stories like this don’t help.

Equally, there is usually an alternative point of view and I’m sure most of us have our own tales of timewasters and utterly unreasonable clients getting stressed over minor details.

Spend a little more time on those forums however, and you will find plenty of brides naming and praising their suppliers who have gone the extra mile for them and provided outstanding service.

So what can we, as wedding professionals, do to enhance our own reputations (and the reputation of our industry)? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. It’s their wedding day, it’s unique, it’s special. If you can share their excitement not only will you provide great service, you will enjoy your work too.

2. Practice your explanations for sticky situations – for example if you sometimes find there is a big gap between a bride’s budget and the price of your product or service, work out a phrase which explains this without making her feel inadequate. Having this scripted in your head means you are less likely to come out with something which may appear patronising or rude when you are stressed.

3. Have a backup – set up a reciprocal arrangement with a similar professional so that if you have an unexpected crisis and have to cancel a booking you can call on that person to fill the breach

4. Be a good listener. If you find yourself frustrated because the same problem keeps happening, maybe there is a message there for you. Step back, look at it from the customer’s perspective and see if you can find a different approach.

5. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

6. If something does go wrong (and it happens to all of us), don’t make excuses. Apologise and then do everything you can to put it right.