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I’m a wife and momma on the daily and bouquets of flowers from Trader Joes are my love language. I'm a wanna be cooking show host. You can probably find me watching Bravo TV with an iced coffee in hand. I'm a big fan of brunch with the girls and ice cream dates with my guys. I love encouraging others with words and have a heart for serving.
July 31, 2019
As a business owner, I use a client questionnaire for nearly every single area of work that I do – primarily engagement session, weddings, branding sessions, and brand strategy. The only time I don’t use a questionnaire is when I do more basic work, like a mini session or small family session. As time has gone on I’ve refined my questionnaire and have found them to be incredibly helpful for a variety of reasons! If you’re a business owner and getting started in your field, or just curious, here are some reasons why you might want to create your own client questionnaire!
When a client comes to you and they are in need of a wedding photographer It’s up to you as the expert in your field – in this case, photography – to get the necessary information from them so that you can do an excellent job at what they’ve asked you to do. You are the one who knows the details of what needs to be done, and how to translate everything they tell you into a cohesive experience. That means that you need to be the one directing the flow of conversation about their needs – and a great way to do that is by using a client questionnaire.
A client questionnaire allows you to ask very specific questions that will give you the answers you need about the client and their wedding day. For example, say you’re working on a timeline for the day of and you need to ask a few questions to create the timeline. You would need to know if they plan to do a first look, what time their ceremony starts, etc.. You can ask pointed questions without having to go back and forth via email and keep things streamlined and cohesive. Use the information to create an incredible experience that elevates your organization and be aware of details before the day of. You as the expert know what is needed, so you ask them the necessary questions to get to that point!
As you’re listing questions for your clients, it makes you think about which ones are the most important to ask. There is so much information that needs to be shared, especially when you’re dealing with a tailored experience, so combining all the needed information into one document is so helpful in keeping things streamlined, as well as incorporating all the necessary questions.
As you work with clients and receive their answers, you’ll start to see which ones are the most important, and what you might need to add in the future. Is there something you keep having to ask them after they’ve already filled out the questionnaire? Is there an area of the process where you don’t have enough information at the outset? Once you see these areas you can fix them by asking for that information at the very beginning.
I had never answered my own client questionnaire until a few months ago. I was putting myself in my clients shoes and I wanted to live out my client experience. I decided to fill out my own questionnaire to help myself define my business, and it was pretty incredible how much it helped me!
The other great thing about it was that it allowed me to view the questionnaire as the client would – so that I could change it as necessary. I realized through receiving client answers as well as going through the questions myself that some weren’t clear enough. So for the harder-to-answer questions I included example answers. I was able to identify the weaknesses of the questionnaire and fix them.
I think this is where being a small business owner can get difficult. You might not have anyone giving you the help and advice that you really need. I started my business not really knowing what I was doing, so of course I had no business plan or developed brand. For me, it took working for a few years for me to get to the point where I recognized the importance of having a solid brand and business strategy, and to finally make those things happen. It was okay for me to be at that stage – everyone has to start somewhere and grow them there! I had to realize it on my own – I didn’t have a professor teaching me how to grow a successful small business – but the point is I realized it. So if you’re a business owner who’s struggling to start a business – start at this level. Ask yourself core questions about what your business is and what your goals are. Before you can ever help anyone else, you need to help yourself.
It’s your job as the expert to educate your client on why this is needed. My clients LOVE my questionnaires because they know its my desire to help them with their overall experience and work together! Their answers are the building blocks of their experience.
Looking for your own client questionnaires? I’ve created them for you! Check them out here! https://www.etsy.com/shop/DanielleWraithhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/DanielleWraith
Comment below and let me know if you’ve used questionnaires in your own business!
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