Could someone offer a bit of advice about how to deal with clients who are never happy, or who constantly ask for more above and beyond what was provided for them? My wedding DVDs are, on average, 90 minutes long, and usually contain the service (trimmed to 20 minutes), the full speeches (approx. 40 minutes), the first dance (10 minutes), a trailer (3 minutes) and a short form (10 minutes).
My clients are fully aware of what they are getting as I have tried my darndest to manage expectations. They love the trailer and short form (which I post online) and there are rave reviews for them, but when it comes to the actual DVD I have people freaking out 40% of the time. I have worked out a pretty decent business model which allows me to take on 25 weddings a year. I spend about 1.5 weeks editing each wedding. What I cannot do is offer a draft review (I am presuming most companies don't do this. Time is money, and what they get is a distillation of the day, all of the best footage on the disc - presenting them with a "draft copy" will slow things down and I'm not charging enough (but still an average, fair price) to be able to spend time correcting wholly subjective "errors").
When I have all of these clients coming back to me with (often inane) requests for re-edits, I feel like pulling my hair our. "During the drinks reception we want to hear what the people are saying." Requests for more footage of X, Y, Z. Uproars about minor errors in continuity. I had one come back to me this week who was upset I had taken out one chorus from one of the five songs sung during the one-hour service. I had another client come back to me this week because she had watched a friend's wedding I had produced, and complained that they had TWO discs whilst she had one, forgetting that the friend had specifically asked for a bulkier amount of coverage. I have changed my contract to deal with these issues, but still they come back, and still I feel like a heel if I were to refuse.
My style is "cinematic" and I always try and produce a creative, artistic distillation of the day (but still, that "distillation" is about 90 minutes; I don't like to short-change them with just a 20 minute short-form).
There are two mindsets I have played with:
a) Get tough with your customer, or:
b) Bend over and, ultimately, they will refer you.
Of course, 60% of the time people are either never heard from again, or get in touch to say thanks - for the same quality and amount of coverage provided for a person who will bitch and moan.
Am I attracting the wrong clients? Should I throw everything and the kitchen sink onto the DVD CCTV-style? Is what I am encountering normal or am I doing something badly wrong?