If you're a wedding planner, you know how important the experience leading up to the wedding day is. For some couples, it's almost as important as the execution of the wedding day itself. If you haven't yet considered your wedding planner client experience yet, I'm here to make your life a lot easier. Systems and processes are important in ANY business but if you are a wedding planner, we enter a new level of customer expectations. Mapping out your client journey not only provides a better client experience, one that will have the ideal clients you're working with refer you time and time again, but it also makes your job a lot easier.
After all, as wedding planners, we juggle many, many plates in the air. Our customers are coming to us for our expertise, but they also come to us to provide an experience. A lot of times our couples are inundated with information from Google or Pinterest (much of it full of bad advice) and are counting on us to give them the good and take care of the rest. Ever worked with a Type A bride where it's almost a full-time job to stay ahead of them? A good client journey will also prevent THAT from ever happening again.
Creating a Client Journey Reduces YOUR Overwhelm.
I cannot stress this enough. Yes, a client journey is important so that you can enhance your customer's experience, but it also helps YOU. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup or however the saying goes. You need to be at your best in order to serve your customers well, and having systems and processes in place helps save you time and makes sure that you're not searching your email endlessly on a Thursday at midnight wondering if you remembered to get back to the florist, I have been there. I have BEEN there my friends.
Having a client journey helps clients feel nurtured and cared for.
A lot of times we are buying an experience just as much (if not more) than an end result. Of course, your clients are hiring you to be their wedding planner because they want you to plan a beautiful wedding, but they also want to be excited by the process. You likely want your prices to reflect an upgraded experience as well.
I like to compare this to a pedicure service. There is a big difference between going to a five-star spa, changing into a robe, enjoying cucumber water and soft music before a pedicure… and one of those cheap walk-in places that will have you in and out in 20 minutes before your polish has even dried. Both of them will result in painted toes, but what do you want your clients to experience?
Having a solid client experience process ensures that each and every customer feels nurtured. More than that, they all have the same experience. There is nothing worse than feeling like you got a different experience than someone else, even though you hired the same person. I know we have all been there, right? We want to avoid that happening to your customers.
Emergencies DO happen – and mapping out your client journey leaves you prepared.
Having systems and processes in place to provide a rock-solid client experience also allows anyone on your team to assist when emergencies happen. And after 12 years in the wedding industry, I can tell you they do happen. I always recommend having a “hit by a bus plan” or something where you can hand off the wedding plans at a moment's notice (either to someone on your team or even a wedding planner colleague).
The inner peace you get knowing how easy it is to just send everything over in one place is worth every step it takes to get organized. I promise you if you haven't dealt with an emergency yet, it is unfortunately only a matter of time. And the only thing that will make an emergency worse is not being prepared for it and having to deal with a wedding.
Oh and by the way? You don't have to wait for an emergency to hand things off to your team. They just might surprise you (after all, they learned from the best).
Having a client journey creates an organized process.
I mentioned this briefly earlier, but y'all, we have to work overtime to be more organized than some of the brides we get nowadays. Everyone has Google at the tip of their fingers, and they're expecting something a little different from you. If they hire you to be their wedding planner, being organized not only helps you make sure that you're crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's, it also makes sure that you keep control of the customer. Some customers will take control because they don't know what else to do. An organized process and clear instructions on what to expect will help them trust you.
I feel like a broken record when I talk about this, but you might be surprised how many of your customers actually appreciate the boundaries you have in place. A lot of times, a “Bridezilla” is created from unmet expectations. If there's a way to avoid that experience, isn't that what you would like to do? I can't promise it will always work but it sure will help (for relatable wedding stories make sure to sign up for “Tales from the Clipboard” – my newsletter where I share the tea on all my crazy wedding stories). For the most part though, if you have an organized process, you're going to dodge a lot of the things that could go wrong before the wedding day.
Finally, creating a client journey helps YOU stay on track.
The above points kind of tie into this. But what I really want to get from reading this whole post (thank you for sticking around – btw!) is that having a client experience mapped out is as much about you as it is for them. The less time you spend trying to figure out “what's next” or even “did I do that already?”, the more time you can do work you LOVE whether that means spending time with your family, grabbing drinks with your wedding vendor friends, or sitting on the couch watching real housewives. However you choose to spend that extra time, you do you. And why wouldn't you want that?
Is Your Wedding Planner Client Experience Ready for an Upgrade?
Now that this blog post has convinced you to spend a little extra time – maybe once wedding season dies down – mapping out your client journey from start to finish. Once you have it mapped out, look for tasks that can be automated, delegated, or eliminated. I'm all about not just doing more for the sake of doing more, but really diving into what matters most. What's going to make the biggest difference to your customers? What parts of the customer journey can be tweaked to make YOUR life easier?
Once you have your client journey mapped out, I would love to encourage you to take it one step further and add little ways to surprise and delight your customers throughout working with you. Trust me, this will be so appreciated (and don't worry – your prices can and should reflect these service upgrades). What touches can you add (and at what points)?
Need a little recap (or did I catch you skimming?)
If your wedding planning business isn't exactly giving you the freedom you were after (or you are quickly realizing why it's considered one of the most stressful jobs in the world), consider taking a step back and really mapping out your customer journey. There are so many reasons why your customers (and YOU) will benefit, but here are the top five:
- Having a Customer Journey Reduces Your Overwhelm
- It Helps Clients Feel Nurtured
- Solid Systems and Processes Help Anyone On Your Team To Assist
- Creates An Organized Process
- Helps You Stay On Track
Ready for the Next Level? You're going to want to join us inside The Planner's Playbook–my coaching program only for wedding planners. Want to plan, design, and coordinate magazine-worthy weddings like a pro? Learn all about it here.
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