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Southwest Airlines: Inspired

23 Jan Posted by chimpsy in Uncategorized | Comments Off
Southwest Airlines: Inspired
 

I read an article today about Southwest Airlines.   If I have a choice, I will always fly Southwest for a few reasons:

1.  They have never hassled me about my camera gear carry on.  Other airlines always tell me they need to check my gear on the plane which is very annoying.  I have to take my cameras out and then check the bag, empty.

2.  They are quick!  I rarely ever have delays…

3.  And this is the biggie:  No sneaky checked bag fees.  Nothing I hate worse than feeling nickeled-and-dimed. Recently I had to fly to a location that SW didn’t serve, so I was on a United flight.  They charged me about $30 each way for my luggage at the counter.  I don’t know if it’s that they wait to charge you at the counter or that I was charged at all that offended me the most.  I think it was that they charged me at the counter.  If they added the charge at the time of purchase, they know that I might switch to another airline.  Its such obvious trickery.  Why would you want to do that to your paying customers.  I just don’t get it.  I left feeling really offended.

This article got me thinking about my own customers.  In fact, last year I spent a lot of time putting myself into my customer’s shoes.  I live by the mantra “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  That’s why I get so mad when I hear about thievery, lying, malpractice, trickery and overall crookedness.  I just HATE it.  I don’t like feeling tricked and I don’t want my friends or family or clients to feel that I am out to trick them and then take advantage.

So, despite how this may make my competitors feel about me (I’m sure United and Delta have some harsh opinions about Southwest), I have made some changes for 2011.  I want to become to the photo industry what  Southwest is of the airline industry.  My two changed policies:

1.  All Cafiero Clients get a full-resolution photo CD with every package.  No questions, no watermarkes, no trickery.  You get the full res images, with a set of enhanced “favorite images” at no extra charge.  And I am not raising my prices to afford this change of policy, either.  You own the rights!  The last thing I am going to do is allow a client to feel that I tried to take advantage of them.  And besides, if my studio were to go up in flames, I would be much happier knowing that my clients have their full resolution images on a disk.

2.  For wedding clients, I still need to collect a deposit to reserve the date.  But you don’t make your final payment until the images are ready for you.  I hear nightmare stories about photographers taking forever to get the final images to their clients who have already paid.  That’s just not right and I don’t want to fall into that category of photographer.  And it’s good healthy pressure on myself to improve the time I take to get my images out to my clients, too.

I have a new studio, new sample albums, new art on the walls and I’m also excited that 2011 is also the year of becoming the customer-centered business.  I look forward to working with everyone who has booked me for a shoot so far!  :)

No fees for your photo CD.