What Your Client Experience and a Warm, Chocolate Chip Cookie Have in Common
It was a weeknight after Kira had gone to bed, and while I'm typically pretty protective of evening hours for family and relaxation time, it had been a particularly busy week with an infant on nap strike, so mommy duty was taking over work time during the day. I had a few tasks that were time sensitive and needed completing asap, so I buckled down after dinner to play catch up in my office.
I love my work, so it wasn't like this was a terrible imposition, but I was tired and needed some extra mojo to push me through those last evening hours.
I lit a fragrant candle on my desk and turned on the lamps for some soft ambient light, let my acoustic playlist filter throughout the room, and allowed myself soak into the zone of colors and smiles as I edited away my latest shoot. I'm not sure how long I'd been immersed there when I heard my husband's footsteps coming down the stairs with the cherry on top of my creative happy place.
In one hand, he held a steaming cup of hot tea and in the other, a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie on a plate with a fork.
He simply set it down on my desk, asked how it was going, gave me a kiss and a smile, and left me to continue.
My heart felt like he had just placed a warm fleece blanket over it and tucked it in for the night.
The tea was decaf since it was getting late, and the cookie was still gooey in the center, cooked to perfection, but served on the plate with a fork so I could enjoy it slowly and with minimal mess around my workspace. It was a small gesture, but sweet, practical, thoughtful, above-and-beyond the expected.
That's how I view client experience.
It's about taking something typical and adding warmth, things that say "I was thinking of you" or "you deserve above-and-beyond."
It's about setting a stage for comfort and enjoyment in the midst of a potentially stressful situation.
So in my business, that includes everything from prompt responses to emails, to learning your child's favorite colors and books and games, to personalized assistance with how to print and arrange your images on the walls of your home. It's why all my clients get homemade cookies in a mason jar with a handwritten note at their ordering session.
Sure, those things aren't necessary. Sure, you could call me, we'd set a date, meet for 30 minutes to click click click away at some generic photos in the local park, and I could send you a link to an online gallery 2 weeks later and call it finished.
But where's the warmth?
Where's the connection? Where's the memory? Where's the joy?
Where's the warm, gooey center and extra mile of the plate and fork that say, "I was thinking of you" ?
Those emotions are the cherry on top. They are what set Firefly apart, and make "picture day" go above and beyond something typical into something excellent.