Looking at Business a Little Differently

As I sit here and write this, I feel as if I have a new pair of eyes! Yes, as you may have seen on our Facebook or Twitter, I (Gavin) finally took the plunge and got LASIK eye surgery after wearing glasses and contacts for over half of my life! Less then a week ago my vision was 20/500 and now it is 20/15 and getting better by the day! A huge thank you to the Saddleback Eye Center and Dr. Manger for my new eyes! :)

And as always, I’m constantly observing other businesses who specialize in what they do and look for applications to our photography. Having an eye surgeon that had more experience in North America than anyone else, I was curious as to how he treated his clients and searched for undertones in how his entire staff handled a patient’s experience. I found three HUGE underlying themes in everything they did.

1. They treated you as if you were their only patient.

I know what you’re thinking, way lame opening point….but get this…they perform over 400 procedures A MONTH at this office. And with a revolving door like that, I assumed that I would get lost in the crowd and feel like a number. And I couldn’t be more wrong. There was a team of assistants dedicated to my experience and from start to finish there was something with me explaining everything and answering all of my questions. In looking at those kinds of numbers it makes a laughable excuse if you say you can’t keep track of…what…30 clients at most?? All I know is the second someone feels like they are treated like a number, the credibility and value of the company or professional goes down the tubes. Especially when dealing with a clientele that is accustomed to 5 star service!

2. They emphacized the importance of the technology they used, but stressed even more so that the technology was worthless if not in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing.

This was something I came in completely clueless about. I thought laser eye surgery involved sticking your head under a led light, the doctor pushed a few buttons and *poof* you had perfect eyes thanks to 21st century technology. I was wrong. The technology is amazing, state of the art, and wicked expensive, but it does no good if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’d say about 10% of my procedure was technology and 90% of it was the surgeon. He actually did my LASIK procedure by hand! He reshaped my cornea and corrected my vision; he held my future as a photographer in his hands! **scary when I think back on that fact**

I can’t tell you how many times someone looks at a photo Erin or I have taken and says “Wow, that’s a nice picture. You must have a great camera!” I almost want to hand them my camera and with a smile say “go for it dude!” haha. Having top of the line equipment is huge, but in the hands of someone who can’t use it…it’s worthless. When you pay a higher price for photographer A vs. photographer B, there is a reason! And that reason should be experience and proven results :)

3. They went out of their way to ensure my every need was met. Concierge treatment in a doctor’s office?

I seriously felt like they would do anything for me in that office. I was so close to asking one of them to hum me a bar of “killing me softly” or something because I was amazed at the lengths they went to make me comfortable. I hadn’t had lunch…they brought me a menu to order food. I needed a ride home….they would have paid for a taxi or took me in their Hummer. If I had been from out of town, the would have put me up in a hotel. On and on it went, and I couldn’t believe it. That alone spoke the value they placed on their profession and reinforced to me that I wasn’t a number, but someone entrusting them with one of my most priceless senses.

A bride’s wedding is one of the most important day’s in their life…they are nervous! Any time that you as a photographer can go out of your way to make sure that you recognize that…and bend over backwards to reassure them that they made the right choice trusting you with their day, it will be paid back to you 10x over!

MAJOR PROPS to you if you made it through this monstrous blog post! To sum it all up, I left last week from a place with perfect vision and an experience that made me even more resolute to provide our brides with a valuable experience they will always remember!

And since all blog posts need to have a photo…here is a little family portrait we took yesterday at the park :) And yes, Ella is making faces at the camera…what a ham-bone.

Gabriela - May 13, 2010 - 1:06 am

Insightful analysis, Gavin. If you go back to basics, it’s funny how you can learn from pretty much everybody! You can say you are looking at the world with new eyes!

Jon Yoder - May 14, 2010 - 10:42 pm

I really appreciate your comments and your comparison. I never saw photography quite like lasik. ;) And "you must have a nice camera" is a classic annoyance–I like your response though. :) Keep up the good work, and enjoy your upgraded eyes. =)

admin - May 17, 2010 - 6:16 pm

Thanks so much Jon for your comment! Loving the new eyes :) Have an awesome day

Luke Bennett - May 28, 2010 - 11:49 pm

Great post Gavin. Point