How to organise your Christmas sessions bookings and maximise sales!
24 november 2022
Organising the schedule of the studio is an essential task to avoid complications. Besides that, with a greater organisation, you will be able to provide a good customer experience.
Currently our schedule is completely full during the year and our biggest concern is not to leave any time blocks available between sessions, in order to make the most out of the studio time. Even so, flexibility is always valued and it is important that the client is able to choose the most appropriate time and day. The trick is to organise the schedule well in order to free up the most convenient slots to reduce downtime in the studio.
"Educating" the client to be sensitive to our work and schedules is, by itself, also a way of building our image and showing credibility in the marketplace.
Did you know that 80% of consumers state that the experience the company provides is as important as the service?
There are some essential points that we always take into consideration when organising our schedule:
1. How long does it take to carry out each session?
Every session has different requirements and needs. A session with a baby or with a large family will require different attention and care from us. Therefore, when booking sessions into our schedule, we should always consider these aspects.
2. The client type is important!
The type of client is, in its own right, a key point in setting our appointments. It is important that we have the ability to understand our client and spot their characteristics. For example, a client that makes a significant trip to our studio, may very likely be a client that arrives 15 to 20 minutes late and, this delay, can heavily affect the rest of the day, thus impacting all the following sessions. By taking this period into consideration, we can decrease the delays experienced in the following sessions and avoid conveying an image of instability to the rest of our clients.
3. Reminders are essential!
In our studio, we always call 3 days before the session and send a message the day before. This is a way, not only to show competence and attention to our clients throughout the process, but also to ensure that they don't forget their bookings and the time of the session.
4. Time vs Productivity
At booking time, our clients already know the length of the sessions and, even though the flow of the session itself may show the need to spend longer than initially booked, it is important that we honour all the defined timings. Nobody likes to wait, much less when it comes to a premium service (like the one we want to offer), so we should be sensitive to other clients. Having the schedule of the session well defined, our productivity also ends up being maximised for those 30-45 minutes of capturing and our full attention is on the family and not thinking about delays or mistakes.
5. What will the monthly turnover be?
The monthly revenue estimate is one of the most important points that we take into consideration. With good planning and organisation of the calendar, we can estimate what we will make each month and even annually. With this data in mind, we can adjust our planning according to our revenue goals.
How to organise Christmas bookings?
Organising Christmas bookings requires a different scheme and planning from the regular sessions we run. In our studio, we have adopted 4 stages:
For clients who do the Christmas sessions, we provide the option of booking for the following Christmas (1 year before);
We start communicating internally, for example, to existing and faithful clients (6 months in advance);
We reinforce the urgency of booking as vacancies are limited (4 months before);
After the scenario presentation, we open the last vacancies (2 months before).
Commit to good daily planning
Our sessions start at 9.30am and finish at 7.30pm, with each client taking up 1 hour of our schedule. In practical terms, we offer 45 minutes of session and the remaining 15 minutes are for dealing with possible unforeseen events, preparation and interaction with the client.
On average, we run 8 sessions a day and around 400 sessions during the 2 months of the Christmas season.
More than a session, an experience!
What do we take into account when we create our Christmas Pack?
1. Setting the scenery 2. Investment in the scenery 3. Day of booking 4. Photographer 5. Photography material 6. The brand 7. Edition
What do we do?
1. Phone call for confirmation 2. Sending text messages the day before the shoot 3. Offer a good experience on the day of the session, packed with surprises 4. Post-session follow-up 5. Delivery
The selection process:
When our client chooses photos from the session in our studio, the client's service is done on the same day, in order to prevent backlogs.
For customers who do significant travel, we offer the possibility to deliver everything after 30 minutes.
When the client chooses session pictures online, we provide 3 days for the selection to be completed.
In our studio, we always prefer when the client chooses the photos in person because, as the purchase is made by impulse, we always get him to choose more photos and buy more products, thus increasing the sale ticket of our session.
Creating a sales plan?
It is essential to set sales targets and clear goals for the growth of our business.
We always seek to enhance our work by promoting it and our brand position. We offer a premium service and have a team with many years of experience. This expertise is something we cannot fail to reinforce so that our client begins to value our work and the investment that will be made.
At the studio, we favour assisted selling. We leave our clients free to decide if and which products they want, but we always try to help and direct them to the product(s) that bring us more return.
What about you? What strategies do you use in your business?