When you have a passion for your business, the way I have a passion for mine, you put all of your heart into every single job that you do for a client. While this is a good thing because it ensures that you do your best for every job – it can also be a bad thing because you can become very emotionally attached. And with emotional attachment can come disappointment.
I have been very lucky to have some incredible clients. In fact, the majority of my clients have been amazing. But once in a blue moon you get a client that you just cannot make happy – no matter what you do. You could go to the ends of the Earth for this client, and perform miracles, and they would still have a problem with the transportation that you used to get to the ends of the Earth.
When I get clients like this, it really can make me feel slightly defeated. The wedding and event industry is such an intense and consuming industry. The amount of hours, effort and emotions put into each wedding is drastic. And so when you put that amount of work in, but receive a negative backlash from a client, it can really make you feel worthless.
Don’t get me wrong – I am all about positive criticism. If I do something wrong and a client is transparent and tells me that they are unhappy, I will go out of my way to correct it for the client and then ensure that I change that aspect of my methods so that it doesn’t make any other client unhappy. That kind of criticism is essential in order to grow any business in the right direction and I always appreciate it.
What I am talking about here is the negative criticism that has no relevance. The kind of criticism that is erroneous. The kind that you get when you do everything perfectly according to what has been discussed and agreed upon, and everything ran extremely well on your side of the spectrum. Sure there are certain things that can go wrong which are completely out of your control (especially in the wedding and event industry), but what matters the most is how you deal with those unforeseen events.
So what are you to do when you have done everything perfectly, reacted to unforeseen events in a professional manner by fixing any problems that come your way, and pull off an amazing wedding or event; but the client contacts you the day after (not to thank you for going above and beyond for them), but to complain and try get refunded?
Well, as much as you will want to in that moment, you definitely do not give up and quit. Yes, this can be a very unrewarding business. A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into everything we do. And sometimes we just have to deal with the fact that there will be no praises and no thanks. And that is okay, because for every 1 negative client, there are 50 happy and thankful ones.
A wise businessman once told me that you can’t make everyone happy, and if you do have only happy clients – then you don’t have enough clients. At the end of the day what it boils down to is how you pulled off the job. If you can say in your heart-of-hearts that you did everything according to plan and that you gave 100% of your best, then that is all that counts. That is what will keep you going. Focus on the 100 other happy clients, let that bring you up.