Last week, during a spare moment, I shared a coffee with Brianna, one of my wonderful 2012 brides who I’m lucky to live near (many of my clients live out of state, or else I have a feeling I’d be spending most of my free time socializing with them, because they are all wonderful people). We had one of those wonderful sorts of conversations where we talked about everything and nothing at the same time, compared our Myers-Briggs personality types (I’ve revisited the test recently and have been high fiving the other INTJs who I call friends), and soon our conversation turned to how harried I had felt recently.
She smiled at me and said she was surprised when I had emailed her recently and had apologized to her for taking 24 hours to respond to an email on the weekend and hadn’t been concerned I hadn’t rushed to answer her email during the weekend.
I took pause at her comment. I realized she hadn’t cared a whit that I had made her wait almost a full day to respond to her email. And this small comment made me reconsider how I keep in contact with my clients.
First, and foremost, I LOVE MY JOB. I feel like I have to capitalize it to fully emphasize how passionate I am about photographing people and weddings and being able to work with ridiculously cool people. And so, when I receive fun inquiries and emails from my couples, my typical gut reaction is to reply back immediately, because I’m so excited to hear from them. But it’s not fair to my husband and to the other people in my life who I should focus on when I’m not holding office hours. In order to continue loving what I do in the future, I feel like now is the time to begin creating standards in regards to how I conduct business.
The following will go into effect immediately:
1. All phone calls and emails from clients and inquiries will only be answered during office hours, which are officially 8am to 5:30pm. If I receive an email or call outside of this time, I will respond to it the following day. If I receive an email/call on the weekend, it will be responded to on Monday.
2. Exceptions will take place for scheduled initial phone inquiries (if the client cannot chat on the phone during business hours) and for emergencies (last minute wedding and session emails that must be answered immediately and cannot wait until morning).
3. I am Facebook friends with many of my clients, which I absolutely love. However, I ask that any wedding day/photography questions be sent via email rather than via Facebook message. I read through all the emails my couples have sent to me a day or two before the wedding so I make sure we are all on the same page. It’s easier if all of the information we have discussed is in one location rather than on Facebook and in my email. However, feel free to send me random fun messages via Facebook– they often make me smile!
I’m looking forward to these changes and being able to serve you all with a thumbs up and a smile while still giving myself some time to relax!