A Look at Luxury Clients and How to Meet High-End Expectations
Entering the luxury market is an excellent way to elevate your brand reputation and increase your revenue per client, but it’s not a decision to take lightly! High-end clients have high-end needs, so you and your team must be prepared to deliver a VIP experience to every single one of them.
While you may love booking six and seven-figure weddings, it’s important to recognize the extra care and attention luxury clients expect at every turn of the planning process.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, here are the two most important rules to remember when operating in the high-end wedding market:
People want to feel like they’re your only client.
We all know this isn’t true, but your client should never feel like a second choice. This goes for any market but is especially vital when working with luxury clients. They’re spending more for your time and attention, so you and your team must give them what they expect! A big part of this comes in the form of timely communication.
You will need to respond to client emails, text messages, and phone calls as quickly as possible. If you’re on the go or unable to provide a detailed answer at the moment, let them know you’ve received their message and give them an estimated time of response.
When meeting with clients, come prepared with everything you need. Don’t waste their time pulling up spreadsheets or logging into software — be ready! Make sure to silence your phone and shut out any distractions. For the time you’re with a client, consider them your only client. Everything else can wait.
While you should still set boundaries regarding your preferred method of communication and office hours, it’s best to be flexible with high-end clients to keep them satisfied. After all, you are being paid for VIP treatment so you have to return the value.
Go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional experience.
Surprise and delight is a wonderful way to enhance your brand experience and something that should go without saying when working with luxury clients. While you might have an extra touchpoint or two with standard-tier projects, your VIP folks expect a personalized experience that doesn’t feel like a rinse-and-repeat of your other client services. Show them you’re ready to go the extra mile!
To wow luxury clients, you have to get to know who they are, what they love, and what motivates them. Are they foodies who would fall over themselves to see a gourmet charcuterie board at your next planning meeting? Or would it mean the world to them to find a gift basket for their beloved dog on their doorstep one morning?
The best surprises are thoughtfully prepared for the recipient, so learn as much as you can about your clients. Consider your client journey from start to finish, adding meaningful touchpoints throughout the process. A bottle of wine to celebrate booking their venue or a couple’s spa day to mark the one-month point goes a long way!
It’s not just about planning, though. You can also go the distance on the event day itself. You can book vendors and plan activities that impress your clients and make them look amazing in front of their clients (because that’s what matters!). Imagine the look on their face when they walk in to see an aerialist hanging from above, or a live garden transplanted in a warehouse just for them.
In addition to more revenue, luxury clients offer an opportunity to experiment and try new concepts that upgrade your portfolio and make for great content to submit for press. Just be mindful of high-end expectations as you test out the market — preparation is key!
Elizabeth Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. Elizabeth is also a lead wedding planner with award-winning firm Bridal Bliss, where she manages the Seattle team. In addition to recognition by Special Events in its Top 25 Event Pros to Watch series, she also earned a spot in The BizBash 500 for 2021