The Celebrants Network Inc - BLOG
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We value your feedback…
We all want to hear that we've done a great job, but feedback offers more than just a pat on the back... it helps us to improve and grow in our profession. Celebrant Melanie Lawson gives us her thoughts on asking your couples and families for feedback.
These days everyone is seeking your feedback – from the delivery of a package, or your experience of a basic phone inquiry through to your satisfaction with the provision of all sorts of goods and services. As celebrants, client feedback is important to us as we strive to be the best celebrant we can be.
So… how do we cut through the clamour of businesses asking for feedback and the general excitement of a wedding to gain comments from our couples?
When I was training to become a celebrant, we were encouraged to develop a written survey and to send this to the couple after the wedding, complete with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Even though this advice was given not so many years ago, it now seems incredibly ‘old school’! These days, most of us communicate electronically which opens up various options for gaining client feedback. A simple option is to send an email after the ceremony asking for comments or specific feedback. You could build on this by attaching a survey form, or a link to an online survey tool such as Survey Monkey. Many such tools allow you to design and use simple surveys for free. Celebrants often include feedback or comment functions on their website. You can also suggest that couples leave online reviews via Facebook, Google, the white/yellow pages, or any other directory you are listed in.
Once you have chosen suitable platforms for getting feedback, the next question is ‘what do I want to know’?
The Attorney-General requires us to get ‘evaluative’ comments. These comments could be about our performance, the quality of the ceremony, our appearance and presentation, equipment, timeliness or preparation. As professionals and small business operators, we also want to know how to remain competitive. We might ask questions to learn more about what couples are looking for in a celebrant, what features they really appreciate, and what constitutes ‘value for money’.
My tip is to keep questions simple while also obtaining specific information. For example, asking: ‘Is there anything I could have done better?’ will hopefully reveal more details than asking: ‘were you satisfied with my services?’. Some yes/no questions followed by an open-ended comments box is another approach, making it fairly easy for clients to respond.
One of the easiest ways of getting feedback is to ask questions along the way. After your initial interview; during the preparation of the ceremony; at the rehearsal or on the big day – grab opportunities to ask whether the couple is happy with your work so far, or whether they have any comments for improvement.
Finally, if you do get feedback, it is good to acknowledge this and to let people know that you have incorporated this into your work. Nobody wants to bother making comments which just end up in a vacuum.
Sharing ideas with colleagues is a great way of improving all aspects of our work, so feel free to add your comments with tips and tricks for getting quality feedback. And of course, we would love to receive your suggestions and ideas about The Celebrants Network!
Thanks Melanie for the article. Like you I was taught about the survey form and stamped addressed envelope with absolutely zero response. My couples all say before the wedding that they will give me feedback and they are very happy with everything, but then nothing. Having said that I have some great reviews which I am very proud of but I get a bit frustrated that more don't all follow up. I notice some celebrants have a full page review on their websites which goes through every aspect of the service from first meeting onwards. Do they write this themselves? and then get the couple to submit it. My last wedding I just asked a week after ceremony if they would do it and they did. Still searching for an answer.
Thanks Rhonda! One of my couples left me a wonderful review on google, but unfortunately google deleted it. The only reason I could find was that the review had been picked up by an algorithm as being fake...
Great article Melanie. And a timely reminder to create a feedback form. I should have done it years ago. Thank you.
Thanks Leslie, I’ve only had about 50% response with my form which I send by email however the comments have been useful.