At WeddingDates, we’ve seamlessly adapted to working from home due to the nature of our business. We know it’s not so easy for many of you that rely on being on-site to conduct business and we were wondering what we can do to help you. Here’s our mini pandemic Survival Guide that we recently shared with our clients that might give you some ideas to get you under way.
Remember, there are still plenty of couples stuck at home and spending time online.
Act To Survive, Prepare To Thrive
You’re probably already doing this but regularly update your website and any out of office response systems you have set up. Things are starting to change as restrictions are eased and it’s good to keep on top of it.
- State that your doors are closed but you’re working from home or at reduced hours and will respond soon – couple’s queries are still important to you.
- If you are offering video calls or virtual tours, give details.
- Add your own warmth and personality.
We’ve recommended to clients using our software to update the automatic response email that couples receive from the venue after enquiry.
Enquiry levels are certainly down however there are still people trickling through. Couples who reach out via the WeddingDates directory or the WeddingDates Plugin get an automatic response which can easily be customised using our Dashboard.
Businesses can also change their description on their WeddingDates listing. We strongly recommend they duplicate this message on the weddings section of their own website.
Get proactive on 2020’s weddings
Keep in contact with your due-to-be-wed or soon-to-be wed couples. It’s best practice to email couples at key touch points in their wedding planning journey. We recently surveyed over 500 couples and many expressed a high level of stress around the uncertainty that exists about their wedding event. (We’ll share the results very soon).
- Six months out: Check in with them. Reassure them that while the venue is closed now, you expect everything will be back to normal in six months’ time.
- Three months out: Check in with them on their plans. Ask them if they wish to postpone their wedding at this stage and provide a list of alternative dates in 2020 and 2021 that you have available to them.
- Let them know your working hours and the best way to reach you.
WedMail is the tool that can automate this process for you and it is normally part of our top tier plan. To make things easier during this crisis we have made WedMail available to all of our clients for a three-month period, free of charge. It has series of emails that are triggered twelve, six and three months before a wedding. Right now, the six-month and three-month emails could be used to great effect, saving you time and administration.
Plan Ahead – Grab that phone camera
WeddingDates software has a Task List built in to help you keep on top of any wedding-related actions that require your attention. You’ll find upcoming reminders helping you to keep focused on the next action required for each couple.
You’ll also find a list of showrounds and while you cannot physically guide couples around your venue, you can have a video call to build a rapport, show them videos or take them on a tour via video chat.
Video is the perfect method of taking potential customers on a virtual tour of your venue. The video doesn’t have to be perfect – no production crews or fancy editing – just you and your phone. Think of it like an Instagram Story.
WeddingDates offers you, as part of your listing, the option to upload video to our website.
Go a step further – go virtual with your showrounds
Your couples may not be able to visit your venue so now is a great time to get to grips with Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp video, Facebook Messsenger video, and other video chat options you probably already have available to you on your phone.
At the very least, take a face-to-face video chat with the couple to talk things through, answer their questions and overall, build rapport.
Dust off those social media channels
This is not the time to stop marketing. Your social media channels will be quieter than usual so it is a great opportunity to captivate your audience. Post about your venue and previous real weddings. Publish your availability dates through to the end of the year, and use video as much as you can. Video posts have the highest engagement over any other kind of post. Be brave and put your face out there. Connect with couples and network with others in the wedding and events industries. Keep your followers and employees up-to-date.
No one is looking for perfection now. But they are looking for connection. Post. Listen. Engage.
Gather past reviews, reel in future bookings
Another great way to set up for success is to reach out to couples who you’ve previously worked with and ask them for a review.
Typically, Google search is the first port of call when couples start looking for information for their wedding. With so much information out there, couples rely more and more on reviews and star ratings. Build up your portfolio of reviews and share what the world thinks of you. Reviews from happy clients could be the difference between a perusal of your profile and getting an enquiry over the line.
Reach out for help, this challenging time has made everyone just a little more helpful. If you Sign up for WeddingDates UK or WeddingDates Ireland listing you will receive a unique review link which is easy to send to your couples.
That’s our mini COVID-19 survival guide. We’re already seeing tiny signs of recovery, so keep the chin up and keep talking to your couples. These strange times are not about perfection, they’re about connection.