How can you manage Intractable Client Expectations?
Updated: May 1, 2018
In an event planning business, the end goal is that your client has to be satisfied with your services. The worst outcome could be that we deliver but the client is dissatisfied and unhappy. The most common reason of this outcome is failing to meet client’s expectations on the front end. While providing service to the clients, we get to know some of our masters are not easier to work with than others. Some are delightful, some forgettable, and a few downright impossible.
In a world, where imagination knows no bounds and everything you imagine can be photoshopped into reality, client expectations from event planners have taken a toss!!
Talking of Unachievable realities, beautiful pictures do not come with the work required to make them real.Imagine a beautiful arch gateway with ambient sunset lighting all around. What they fail to realize is that pictures don’t present achievable reality. Time for a reality check, that picture takes days of planning for the right lighting, huge technological setup and would probably cost you a bomb.
As an event planner we can never say no to a client but find ways to achieve their expectations. Just after we realize that a client has impossible expectations, we take charge of the situation from that moment on. In a bid to save our name, we ensure that expectations of our clients are duly met.
While we certainly encourage potential clients to come to us with their high expectations, we also want them to come with an open mind. Our clients have had intractable expectations but we start with truth followed by different ideas and concepts to make their celebration successful.
Owing to added pressure of being innovative and unique, we as event planners tend go out of way to customize details using innovative concepts which creates added pressure. The question still remains though, how do we deal with a client with less budget and sky high expectations.
Personally we never say no right away but slide in the message through conversations. Our first approach is to offer varied solutions within their budget and also meeting their expectations.
Most of our clients like what we have to offer instead what they came expecting and also it helps them realize the overall outcome of the event.
Another way we take up to handle the impossible clients is to get together with talented yet dependable team of suppliers to make their expectations live. Put together some of your best elements to show your the best of what they can, rather than what they can’t. An event planner intervention in putting together a talented team along with expertise proves invaluable for people, who are a first in planning events.
Saying no is always difficult, but as an event planner we believe it is best to be honest when expectations cannot possibly match reality.
- Isha Batra, Purrple Orryx, Delhi