Jarrod asks: I screwed up shooting an outdoor wedding video. My equipment was having a hard time in the heat and simply kept overheating and shutting down. When my camera was able to get back on again I was able to shoot some salvageable video but it’s not what the bride expected. What do I do now? I never had this happen before.
Answer: Problems and mistakes are common during any project, so how you handle them is the true test of your mettle. Be creative and use what you have to create a short video. Even if it’s 30 seconds…do something with it, don’t charge a dime and be professional when delivering the bad news. Sure, it’s an unpleasant task for any video professional but you must do it.
You will get a VERY upset bride but keep yourself composed. Learning to do it effectively can turn an uncomfortable situation into one that improves your relationship with the client and boosts your credibility.
Here are three tips to help you do that without harming your relationship or your reputation.
1. Acknowledge the impact. When you deliver the bad news about your bride’s video, start by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Show that you understand her position at the beginning of your conversation. That empathy communicates that her satisfaction is still your first priority.
2. Be honest and direct. During the conversation, get right to the point on what happened and explain the situation in clear terms. Don’t waste her time beating around the bush.
No one wants a long-winded explanation–they’re looking to see that you can take responsibility and control the repercussions. There’s nothing worse than a cascade of apologies so don’t do it. You appear more competent when you confront the problem head on.
3. Provide a viable solution. Before you bring a problem to any client, prepare a solution that would meet the client’s needs and allay any likely concerns. Like we suggested earlier, be creative and use what you have to create a short video. Even if it’s 30 seconds, even a minute…do something with the footage you have and don’t charge a dime for it.
Focusing most of the conversation on your solution creates a sense of confidence and trust. A client will be much more likely to work with you again if they know that you’re willing to manage the burden for any problems that arise.
You’re in a stressful situation. What you’re about to do is not easy. Here is a little joke to lighten the load.