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Friday, September 10, 2010

Disappointing Vendors & Customer Service

I'm not the kind of person to talk badly about anyone, and I certainly don't ever post negative comments on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or any other place. I'm of the philosophy that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. That being said, this summer I had the unfortunate opportunity to work with some of the worst and most unprofessional vendors I have ever worked with....EVER. Bad quality work, negative attitudes and horrible customer service. I feel so strongly about my experiences with these few vendors that I felt like I had to express the importance of hiring QUALITY people to work with you on your wedding day.

I watched a wedding officiate giving advice to a professional photographer and tell my staff how and where to set up the decor. (Mind you, this was a non-denominational ceremony NOT in a church, and we had worked out specific decor details with the bride beforehand). I'm of the impression that people don't tell you how to do your job (and if they did it would bother you) so please don't tell us how to do ours.

I worked with a photographer who was not only extremely unfriendly, but the photos I saw from the wedding were horrible. One of them rudely told me to step out of the frame so I wouldn't be in the photo as I was fixing the bride's dress to walk down the aisle. As I browsed through the unfortunate mess of photos from the wedding, I noticed they got a photo of the bride with everyone else...and I mean, EVERYONE. I don't even know how they had time for all those photos between ceremony and reception. Bad photos, bad editing, unfriendly people....and just all around unprofessional.

I worked with a caterer who literally screamed at me during our first conversation on the phone, over some VERY minor changes the bride wanted done to the bar. I actually had to tell them that these are clients that paid you to do a job, and the customer is always right. If they want it, and they're paying for it, what's the problem? Then on wedding day, they made our day a nightmare by complaining from the first minute and demanding more money mid-way through the event. The catering staff rolled their eyes at us if we asked for their assistance or asked questions, and they made fun of the bride & groom for having us bring in doughnuts later in the evening. I can only imagine that they would have ruined the bride & groom's day if we weren't there to intercept their complaints.

For the life of me, I can't understand why some vendors are SO against working with wedding planners, and have no clue what the term "customer service" means. If you actually let us do our job, we make the day easier on EVERYONE....bride, groom, family, wedding party, AND vendors. I realize that I can't speak for every wedding planner out there, and I'm sure there are planners who aren't so great at their jobs and have maybe left a bad taste with someone....but we don't all operate that way.

We work with dozens (maybe hundreds) of vendors, and we have the ability to connect brides with those vendors. If you're rude, have poor customer service and generally treat us like dirt on your shoe the first time we work with you, we won't likely recommend you to any of our clients in the future. In fact, we'll do the opposite. If a bride mentions that you're one of her choices, we'll advise against it and share our previous experience(s), then recommend someone else.

Sometimes brides come to us in the middle of the planning process and they have already hired vendors. In those cases, we deal with the hand we're dealt and make the best of it. However brides, please keep in mind that part of a planner's job is to recommend QUALITY people for you to work with on your wedding day. People who come highly recommended. People who can be trusted to deliver quality products and services. If you're going to hire a planner to help with your wedding, take advantage of the vendor recommendations. Don't hire someone blindly! Ask for recommendations, ask for samples of their work (not just a couple, a LOT), and make sure they can provide the services you expect before you give them a deposit.

I'd like to ask for everyone's comments on this post... brides, planners, photographers, everyone. I think customer service and professionalism in the Ohio wedding industry is seriously lacking, and I'd like to hear others thoughts, opinions and advice on the matter.

End rant. Have a nice day! :)


Brittany Allen said...

Thanks for posting this! I totally agree. I am a Wedding Planner in NJ and I have experienced some very bad customer service myself this summer! I too was going to express my feelings but did not want to bash any other professional business.

However, I had a very bad run in with a well known bakery because of lack of Customer Service! Customer service is crucial to a successful business no matter how long you have been in business. Every customer is a fresh face and should be treated that way!! I will never recommend any client to them from here on out because of it and it's truly unfortunate because their cake is absolutely amazing!

I take pride in my job and always give my brides 100% Customer Service.

I also agree, we as Wedding Planners use preferred vendors because we know their quality of work and know they will deliver amazing services!

Sorry I've written so much, but what you've stated above is the truth and because I can completely relate, I just had to give you a little input!! :-)


Empower said...

Wow! Thanks for the info. I am a bride to be and this post really helps and im going to remember your advice.I wish you were in LA. Thaks so much!

Elite Events said...

What a wonderful post. I have unfortunately had the same luck! I have been completely apauled with the attitudes and performance of several vendors this wedding season, and could not agree more with you!

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