I have the luxury of knowing the boss of my bridal studio and this makes the difference in terms of treatment from their employees.
I have heard of unfair treatment of “ordinary” clients just because of the lower value of bridal package they have paid.
It is not easy to tolerate this kind of treatment. It is going to make you feel from uneasy to angry to frustrated and eventually to helpless.
Wedding planning is supposed to be fun and things are supposedly to go along as plan. The professional bridal service providers are supposed to be professional enough to give the best customer service to any customer and at least treat them all equally.
These are all the assumptions before wedding planning. This is the kind of image portrayed by bridal magazines and tv commercials.
No one really knows that biasness still exist even between customers and bridal studio staff.
It literally means staff gives different service to different customers they are serving.
There are 7 pointers to take note even before signing on the dotted line:
1. Sales person is not the same as those coordinators who will eventually serve you.
In the local context, competition has been very stiif especially over the years when more and more bridal studios come into the wedding market. More studios are fighting over the same pie.
I know when I went to a wedding show, one of the sales staff attended to us. She was representing one of the very exquisite bridal brand.
I could only described that her sales pitch was so good that a bird could rest on her shoulder and fall asleep. She was that good!
She gave us an “exclusive” package and explained that it was already the best deal that they could offer and no other studio could offer at this price. However, a few more visits to other studios sounded the same in the sales pitch.
2. Do your homework
Do your homework before you go for such wedding shows. Ask around from your friends who got married and ask them what to look out for.
It would be a bonus if you could take a look at how an actual wedding package looks like. I got two of my colleagues to help. They showed me their contract and reminded me the things to look out for and how to bargain.
Discuss with your spouse-to-be what your budget is and what kind of package both of you want. Discuss whatever is to be discussed before entering the wedding show.
Remember the sales staff are trained professionals just to close sales. There won’t be time to discuss when the selling takes place.
A fine tip is to agree to walk off as long as one feels uncomfortable with the sales pitch and walk off together. Sales people are very good in making use of incongruency. As long as they know one is still keen, he or she will be targetted.
3. Ask for customers’ feedback
Don’t ever sign at the wedding exhibition unless you have visted their studios and talked to their customers.
Visit their actual office and have a purposeful chit-chat with their customers. Ask how they find their services, ask them if they know any staff previously, ask them what is in their package.
You may only sign on the contract only if you have done your homework.
4. Know what you want for your package.
Do you know what you want for your bridal package?
Do you need the bridal car? Do you need two 15R albums instead of one?
Do you need Made-to-measure gowns or just off the rack?
If you don’t require some items, how could you use them to bargain for other items such as more 15R photos?
5. Control your buying impulse
Humans are impulsive shoppers. We all shop and buy things based on emotions. Even if men are considered logical thinkers, we still buy some items because it makes us feel good.
I remember one friend of mine took up an expensive package which costs about S$6000 and only regretted when she reached home.
Another friend took up more photos and she had to pay another S$3000 on top of her S$3000 bridal package. First of all, her husband didn’t stop her just to show that he could afford. This is called “saving one’s face”.
The wife didn’t back off just because the sales staff was a sweet-talker who kept on praising that she was really pretty, both inside and outside of the pictures.
6. Make a second visit even if it takes more of your time.
Remember some studios allow you to bring the photocopied sample list home and they will get in touch with you a few days later.
The competition is so stiff that they will never miss out any chance of getting new customers.
Bring the sample package list home and take a bath and discuss over a hot cup of tea with your partner. Make a comparision what other studios offer and list out what items you want to have replaced.
With this new list, make another trip down to the studio, find back the same staff and negotiate from there. It will be easier for you.
7. Treat the sales person like a good old friend
Treat them like a human and be friendly towards them. Ask for their help to give you more freebies. This is only doable when they find that they can clique well with you. Ask to be introduced to the senior staff so that you can know them too.
The other junior staff will observe and they have always been observing. If the customers know the boss or senior managers, they will most likely give you better service.
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