Ask The Experts – PT. 1: Elevating the Enquiry Experience

WedPro Ask The Experts - Part 1 with Alix - Wedding Enquiries

Wedding Professionals in Ireland and the UK Seek Expert Advice on Elevating the Enquiry Experience. Insights from our expert Alix Matania-Allerton, Sales Manager and Former Wedding Planner. 

Join us as we explore the burning questions submitted by wedding professionals across Ireland and the UK, all eager to enhance their enquiry experience. In part one of our “Ask the Expert” series we’re tapping into the expertise of Alix Matania-Allerton, our Sales Manager and former wedding planner. Alix brings a wealth of experience from her background in planning weddings at various venues, including hotels, country houses, and event caterers. With seven years of experience at WeddingDates, Alix understands venues’ challenges and frustrations when dealing with couples every day. Her insights and industry knowledge promise to provide valuable guidance for venues looking to improve their approach to enquiries.

Alix’s unique perspective and understanding of both sides of the wedding planning process will offer invaluable insights and strategies for venues aiming to elevate their enquiry experience. Uncover the expert advice that will transform your enquiry process and drive success in the competitive wedding industry.

Alix Matania-Allerton Sales Advice Elevating the Enquiry Experience

HOW TO ELEVATE THE WEDDING ENQUIRY EXPERIENCE

How long should you chase an enquiry before considering it lost?

The duration for chasing an enquiry can vary depending on factors such as the urgency of the couple’s wedding date and the responsiveness of the enquiry. What we recommend is to identify key touch points throughout the journey and send nurturing messages over 30 days. But it’s important to not only rely on email communication (although it is the preferred and most popular communication method!). In between these messages, you can try things like a voice note, a WhatsApp video or a phone call. I would recommend trying these different channels as well as sending the nurturing emails where you’re linking them to your Pinterest, blog posts etc.

WedPro Feature: Our latest enhancement to the enquiry manager features an “aged enquiry cleaner” where an enquiry is considered lost after 2 months. Find out more about it here.

If there’s still no response after multiple attempts, it may be appropriate to consider the enquiry lost. However, it’s important to maintain professionalism and leave the door open for future communication.

Something along the lines of “We understand that wedding planning can be a busy time, and as I haven’t heard back from you, I wanted to reach out one last time to assure you that we are here to answer any questions you may have. We’d still love the opportunity to discuss how we can make your dream wedding a reality.”

“Leaving the door open in the context of following up on an enquiry means maintaining a positive and welcoming tone while expressing understanding if the couple is not ready to proceed at the moment. It involves assuring them that your venue is still available and eager to assist whenever they’re ready to revisit the idea of hosting their wedding with you. This approach encourages a future dialogue and leaves the possibility of working together open, without creating any pressure or urgency,” says Alix. 

General Manager Wedding Venue Ireland UK Wedding Software WedPro
How do you distinguish the wedding enquiry experience for qualified and unqualified leads?

Distinguishing between qualified and unqualified leads is essential for optimising the wedding enquiry experience. Qualified leads typically demonstrate a genuine interest in booking your venue, while unqualified leads may be still exploring their options or not ready to commit. 

Signals for Qualified Leads:
  • Expressing specific preferences for your venue’s features or services.
  • Asking detailed questions about pricing, availability, and packages.
  • Requesting a site visit or venue tour.
  • Indicating a specific wedding date or timeframe.
  • Mentioning previous positive experiences at similar venues.
  • Enquiry stemming from friends or family recommendations.
  • Attended a wedding there and had a positive experience.

Elevating the Enquiry Experience with Alix Matania-Allerton Sales Advice

Signals for Unqualified Leads:
  • Asking general or broad questions without specifics.
  • Enquiring about basic information without delving into details.
  • Mentioning they are still considering multiple venues.
  • Expressing uncertainty about the wedding date or flexibility.
  • Showing hesitation or lack of urgency in communication.

WedPro Feature: Our software allows you to set your lead temperature depending on the couple’s level of interest. The enquiry manager section of your dashboard will give you a visual guide to how keen your couples are. This allows you to focus more on those that are considered a ‘Hot Lead’ and can be extra helpful when forecasting and assessing your sales pipeline. 

Tailoring your communication and level of engagement accordingly can help prioritise qualified leads and ensure more efficient use of resources. Ask targeted questions to assess their readiness and seriousness. For example, qualified leads are likely to provide detailed answers and engage in meaningful conversation, while unqualified leads may show less interest or provide vague responses.

We recommend implementing a structured follow-up process, with more frequent and personalised follow-ups for qualified leads. For unqualified leads, focus on nurturing the relationship through periodic check-ins and providing valuable content to keep them engaged until they are ready to convert.

Qualified vs Unqualified Leads

How do you encourage the couple to book without being pushy?

Encouraging couples to book without being pushy requires a delicate balance of providing information, addressing concerns, and demonstrating value. Focus on building rapport, understanding their needs, and offering solutions that align with their vision. Avoid pressure tactics and instead emphasise the benefits of booking your venue, such as personalised service, unique amenities, and a memorable experience. You can also establish trust by being transparent about pricing, policies, and what couples can expect when booking your venue. Address any concerns or questions they may have openly and honestly, demonstrating your commitment to their satisfaction and peace of mind.

Alix Matania-Allerton Sales Advice for wedding venues

According to our 2024 Wedding Industry Report, the fourth most common frustration experienced by UK couples is feeling pressured to book. Handling this aspect with care is crucial, as the wedding planning process is already overwhelming and stressful for them. Avoid making them feel rushed or pressured, and strive to provide a supportive and understanding approach throughout their journey.

“As an added extra offering special incentives or perks for couples who book, such as complimentary upgrades, discounted rates, or added amenities can also nudge them to sign on the dotted line as it will create a sense of urgency and value without resorting to pushy sales tactics.”

Read more about how to incentivise commitment here.

Champagne to celebrate the occasion

What in your opinion is the most effective way to elevate the couple’s experience?

In my opinion, the most effective way to elevate the couple’s experience is through personalised attention and exceptional customer service. Taking the time to understand their preferences, anticipating their needs, and going above and beyond to exceed their expectations can create a truly memorable and special experience for the couple.

“I genuinely believe it is the feeling, the emotion. This is such an emotional purchase for them. There’s a lot of time, money and effort that’s about to be spent, and they want to feel like they’re valued, and that they have made the right decision in choosing you as their venue. Take the time to build that rapport with them. When they are asking questions actively listen and by that, I mean genuinely hearing what they’re saying, not just asking a list of questions, kind of like a checklist. Ask them a question. Stop and listen. Don’t think about what you’re gonna say next. We all want to feel like we’re listened to. We want to feel special!” 

If you are looking for more ideas on how to elevate the couple’s experience I recommend downloading our FREE Wedding Lifecycle eBook – it is filled with strategies to enhance the wedding journey and overall experience.

WedPro The Wedding Lifecycle eBook Download

How to streamline your venue’s enquiry management and stay on top of everything 

What if we told you there is a better way to keep a record of all your enquiries and track your performance without using complicated spreadsheets? Enter WedPro by WeddingDates, a dedicated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system designed specifically for managing enquiries from prospective couples. Say goodbye to manual admin tasks as WedPro takes the reins, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – creating unforgettable wedding experiences.

With WedPro, you can centralise all enquiry details in one streamlined platform. Track communication history effortlessly, set reminders for follow-ups, and generate insightful reports for analysis. No enquiry slips through the cracks with WedPro, providing you with valuable insights into your sales pipeline and conversion rates.

Contact us today to discover how WedPro can revolutionise your venue’s enquiry management process and elevate the enquiry experience for your couples. Let’s discuss the challenges you’re facing and see how WedPro can empower your team to excel (no pun intended) in delivering exceptional service to every couple.

For more advice on how to elevate the enquiry experience take a look at our latest blog post on best practices for responding to wedding leads here. Keep an eye out for more instalments of this series coming soon! 

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