You probably already know that an engagement questionnaire is an important part of your client experience. But questionnaires are more than just a part of what you’re supposed to do, so I want to walk through the why and the purpose behind them. Let’s dive into all of the reasons why engagement questionnaires are important and why making them personal to your brand, business and core values are key to getting the most out of the questionnaire. And, if you hang with me till the end, you can sign up for a totally free copy of the exact engagement questionnaire I use for my clients!
WHY YOU NEED AN ENGAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE
To get to know your clients – When you’re to the point of sending out engagement questionnaires, chances are your clients already have a pretty good understanding of what your business is all about. They did their research and chose you for a reason, after all. So think of a questionnaire as a chance for you to return the favor and get to know what they’re all about. Get to know who they are as a couple; I’m talkin’ everything from how they met to what they like to do on Tuesday nights. The better you can get to know them, the more it will help you serve them better.
To understand how to interact with your clients – If you’re asking the right questions, an engagement questionnaire can help you get a sense of how you’ll want to interact with them before the session. Their answers might give some insight into if they’re playful and extroverted or timid and moody. This can help you gauge if you should bring out your goofy, let-loose side or if they might prefer your more structured guidance. Being able to tailor your communication so that you can communicate with clients how they need or want to be communicated with is pure gold. Anything to level up that client experience, right?
To best tell their story – This really goes hand in hand with everything we’ve already talked about, but getting to know your clients’ story and their personality can help you tell their story more clearly. You can tie in scenery, poses and prompts, props, or movement that might inspire memories of how they met or what they like to do for fun. Getting personal will make their session and their photos even more special than they imagined.
WHY YOUR ENGAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE SHOULD BE PERSONAL
On that note, let’s talk about why you should make your questionnaire personal. You might be thinking “but I don’t want to pry too much.” Don’t worry! I’m not talking about asking for their blood type. I just mean taking it one step further than their names, where they met, and their proposal story. Try to ask questions that will help you learn more about what they like to do together, what they like most about each other… that type of thing. So, why should your questionnaire be personal?
It makes your clients feel like more than just another client – When you ask your clients how they like to spend their time together, it gives you something to continue building your relationship on. Take a mental note of some of their answers and casually bring them up in your session. For example, they told you in their questionnaire that they love binge watching tv together. Cue them with a “pretend you’re snuggling up to watch Netflix.” First, they’ll know exactly what to do with their bodies for the photo. Second, little things like that make them feel like you care about them beyond the basics. That feeling is next to none when it comes to building solid client relationships because it makes them feel more connected to you… which is super important because they’re trusting you to capture some of the most important moments of their lives. No pressure, though. 😉
It reinforces your core values as a business owner – This might sound less about the client and more about you, but actually, reinforcing what your business is all about also reinforces confidence in your clients that they made the right decision by choosing you as their photographer.
It leads to word of mouth referrals to the right people – All of those things combined lead to one hell of a client experience. And you know what that means, right? “Oh my gosh, you should check out [insert your name here] Photography! They were our wedding photographer and we absolutely adored them!” That’s what your clients will be saying to their newly engaged friends. And we are so here for those organic connections with the right clients.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ENGAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE MORE INCLUSIVE
You probably already know that this photog right here is all about inclusivity. I’m here for every relationship because love is beautiful and should always be represented. So, I wanted to share a couple of super simple ways to make your questionnaire more inclusive to all couples!
Be careful with gender specific terms – It’s okay to use “bride” and “groom” once you’ve gotten to know a couple. But when you’re sending out questionnaires to build that relationship, it’s important to make sure you’re not using them exclusively. For example, when you’re asking for information about each person, try using terms like “your name” and “your partner’s/fiance’s name.” If you were to say “bride’s name” and “groom’s name” when you’re actually photographing 2 grooms or 2 brides, it could feel isolating for the couple and even make them question if they chose the right photographer.
Leave things open and don’t force anything – What I mean by this is to leave the door open for the couple to tell you what matters to them. Simply ask open-ended questions like “Is there a part of your story that is most important to you?” If their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. is something that they want to be sure is showcased, you provided them with a perfect opportunity to let you know. You don’t want to make things feel forced by pushing these types of topics. Part of being inclusive is allowing your clients to lead you in how much of themselves and their story they want to share.
Honestly, I loved writing this post for you because it was a chance for me to reflect on my own questionnaire and client experience. I even tweaked a few things of my own. I’m all about tuning into your purpose and that journey never ends. So, now that I’ve maybe got you thinking about how your own questionnaire reflects your purpose and core values as a business owner, I want to do something I’ve never done before. I want to give you a totally free peek at the exact questionnaire I send to my clients. All you have to do is enter your name and email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.