In my frequent discussions with clients, one of the most frequently asked questions is how do you choose the correct service providers for your special day? Indeed, many have agreed that for them, this is always one of the toughest choices they struggle with. Below therefore are some pointers that could help ease your decision making process.

Check their references: Every service provider has a reference. Someone who has used their services in the past and would attest to the quality of their work. Always ask for references and give them a call. Feel free to ask for as many referees as you are comfortable with. If it is a new service provider, you can still ask for a professional colleague they have worked with in the past who can also confirm their ability to do the job. References are important because they add credibility to your service provider’s promises.

Test their service knowledge: A good service provider must be knowledgeable about his/her service. He/She should be able to explain in clear detail exactly what he/she does and adequately address any concerns or fears you might have about his/her service. Feel free to ask any questions about the service and seek clarity if anything is unclear. As the expert in his/her field, a good service provider will provide answers and advice especially on common mistakes to avoid.

Time management: A good service provider keeps time. Because your event is for a limited time only, you want a service provider that keeps time. Time management is a very key factor in good service delivery. Look out for telltale signs that point to your prospective service provider’s time keeping skills from the beginning. Do they keep appointments? Are they on time for these appointments? Don’t forget that one late service provider may ruin your entire event!

Pricing: This is a bit tricky. My advice here would be to lookout for extremes. Avoid over-priced or under-priced services. If you find someone whose prices are far below what the industry offers, be careful. Find out the reason for this huge disparity because chances are, in a bid to cut expenses, quality may be compromised. Also, if one’s prices are way above the industry prices, don’t be quick to cross them off the list, the quality of the service may be worth every penny!

Understands your tastes: In my experience, every client is different. And although clients may at times say they want a service similar to what you did for another client, when you continue to probe, you discover that each client has unique tastes. The finer details of the service always differ. Therefore, only select service providers you feel have clearly understood exactly what you want for your event otherwise, they may deliver the exact opposite of what you wanted. Feel free to ask probing questions to test their understanding of exactly what you want.

Prioritises you: I have met many clients who have lamented about how they paid for a particular service provider and instead received a substitute for their event. This is unfortunate and yet happens sometimes. It occurs where a particular service provider has lots of clients and therefore chooses who to prioritise. Lookout for this from the very beginning. If you notice that your prospective service provider always sends someone else to your appointments, chances are, the same will happen on your special day. Always select service providers that are available for you and treat you like you were their only customer. If she/he is too busy for you now, run elsewhere immediately!

Passionate about their work: It is said that if you meet someone who is passionate about what they do, they will probably do it for free! Always select service providers who are passionate about what they do. Passionate people care about the quality of their work because they love what they do They understand that their work is a representation of who they are and they want to be represented in the best possible way. Show me someone without passion and I will show you someone careless about their work!

Capacity to deliver: I have met service providers who agreed that they were overwhelmed by a particular event. This is sad but does happen. So before you make the final selection, make sure the service provider has the resources (human, financial and technical) to deliver exactly what you want. Do a physical inspection if you have to and ask specific questions until you are comfortable that this service provider will deliver!

 

So, next time as you select a service provider, I hope these pointers will play an important role. As always, remember: Your Vision, Your Event, Your Way!

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