Well, that’s all fine and good. But what do you do if vendors aren’t being awesome, despite how nice you’re being, and you need to kick them into gear?
1) Start with the simplest one first. (This assumes you haven’t already signed a contract with them). Ask them for recommendations for other vendors. Something like this should work like a charm:
“Hi, I’ve e-mailed you a few times asking for your photography package prices. I realize you must be busy, so do you recommend other photographers in the area that I could contact?”
Sometimes, the threat of going to the competition is enough to whip someone right into shape. Of course, I question whether you should even pursue a vendor that is unresponsive, but if it’s someone you really really want, then give it a whirl.
2) Include links to your various online review site profiles in your e-mail signature. For example, add a link to your Yelp review page, your Wedding Wire profile, or your Google Reviews page. If you want to be even more blatant about it, you can tell the vendor that you intend to post reviews about your unsatisfactory experience with their company and that you wanted to get their thoughts first. I did something similar. I had a horrific experience with one of the preferred caterers at the venue we were originally going to book. After six weeks of unanswered phone calls, I wrote a review about the caterer on Yelp. When I contacted the venue to say that I was not going to sign a contract with the venue purely because of the unprofessional caterer (the only one that was in our budget), I included a link to my review.
3) Contact other people at the company. If the company employs more than one person, but you’ve only been dealing with one person, you have a few options. First, find out who the owner of the business is. You can typically find this in online county records where the business is located. Then track down the owner’s e-mail address via LinkedIn or Twitter or some other method. Include their e-mail address as a cc the next time you e-mail the unresponsive employee. Or, if the company has a generic “contact” e-mail address listed on their website, use that address to say, “Hi, I had been in contact with Jane Smith last month, but now she’s not returning my e-mails. Does she still work for the company?”
4) Take to Social Media, ASAP. Mention them on Twitter, tag them on Facebook, write on their Facebook wall, write a blog post about your experience. Wedding vendors’ business is based on a good reputation, so, seeing their company name in an unfavorable light on the internet could help kick things into gear. Keep everything truthful and don’t add any embellishment to your experiences. Pretty soon, if they’re an established business, they’ll be forced to address the issues your splashing all over the interwebs.
How have other couples dealt with unresponsive vendors?