3 WAYS TO BUILD CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE AND SECURE NEW WEDDING BOOKINGS
Booking More Weddings At Your Venue
Booking More Weddings At Your Venue
At the time of writing (17th August 2020), the number of weddings actually taking place is very low and a roadmap for the return of weddings as we know them not available. It’s hardly a surprise that some potential future customers are lacking confidence to make buying decisions. Wedding venues are in some cases finding it harder than usual to secure new wedding venue bookings.
What can you do as a proactive venue business to help give those new enquiries and future wedding couples the reassurance and confidence to book you?
Here are my 3 tips on how to secure new wedding venue bookings:
Reassure with proof
Most people understand now that we’re living in uncertain times that are likely to go on for some time and well into 2021.
They are more realistic than perhaps a few months ago and recognise that disruption may affect them again.
Some want the fairy magic wand – that will GUARANTEE the uninterrupted wedding. Most however will be content to know that you’ll look after them in the best way possible (should the need arise) being fair and finding the best possible solution for them and their individual needs.
The best way to show this is to walk the walk. Tell real stories. Show mini case studies of 2020 couples you’ve been really looking after (and how you’ve done your absolute best for them).
Ideally tell those stories in your couples’ words, subtly on all your marketing platforms. Those potential couples currently “sitting on the fence” are scouring your social media for reassurance and seeking the chance to find that customer confidence.
There is nothing stronger than social proof from the best advocates you have, those current couples you’re working with.
You may take this a step further. Perhaps set up some kind of “Booking Flexibility Guarantee” that you proactively promote to help secure those new wedding bookings; thinking along similar lines to the way the travel and hotel industry are offering no-quibble postponement and refund guarantees.
What can your venue offer at this very particular time to reassure couples that you will work with them to find the best solution for them?
There isn’t one path for all venues in this and any policy has to be carefully considered. You’ll need to ensure you can deliver on it without long term damage to your venue finances. 2020 requires “out of the norm” thinking to help bridge that gap in customer confidence.
Right now we all feel a little wobbly as we find our way in this new world. We crave more reassurance in all aspects of our lives. A simple good conversation with a fellow human where we feel listened to and understood can give us that confidence and belief. I can’t overstate just how important your team and your ‘venue people’ are in the buying process.
This is not new advice. I’ve advocated for a long time for equal focus on people, service and team as well as bricks and mortar features in working out how to secure new wedding venue bookings.
Now absolutely, more than ever, those potential wedding couples want to see who they are going to be working with. Who will be looking after them? Who they are spending their very precious money with (and do they engage with their story). What they stand for? What they focus on, enjoy, like and how they behave.
The more you can showcase your entire team the better. This is to help those couples feel like they are part of your venue family. The more they will trust and feel content that you have their backs.
This may mean your senior management team, founder and owner becoming visible and sharing more than they would normally. This is vital in these times and where leading businesses in all sectors have been standing out.
Yes, it does. For some potential customers to your wedding venue, they will want to have financial reassurance to back up the above and promise that their money is safe before they will have the customer confidence to part with it.
You might like to consider whether it’s possible to set up dedicated ‘client accounts’ within your business banking structure so that you are able to offer a guarantee to couples that their deposit payments for 2021 and 2022 weddings are protected and are not being used as working capital for the running and growth of the business.
If this is possible for you, this may well be a proactive guarantee that alleviates the inertia. It will allow some couples to go ahead and look forward to their wedding with a spring in their step and comfort and confidence to get started with the FUN of this joyous life milestone.
Cheers to that…
Photos: Kind words of one of my private clients Thicket Priory, Yorkshire. Written by one of their gorgeous 2020 couples.
Photo of owner of Baddow Park House, Essex. Putting effort into all the details that make up the fabric of this wedding venue.
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