Oh, no --I double-booked!

NedM

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OK, so I accidentally double-booked two clients on the same date.

Dilemma:

One of the clients is a maternity session; she has already rescheduled with me several
times before due to various reasons. (Booked through a deposit)

The other client is a couple looking to get their engagement session done, so they can
get their "Save the Date" invites sent out. (Engagement session was complimentary because they
booked me for their wedding next year)

What I did:

I ended up rescheduling the engagement session for the next day. I figured I didn't want
to reschedule the maternity client seeing as this would be our 4th attempt. This caused
the couple to become a little irritated seeing as they initially booked for the date first, and I
accidentally booked another client on top of theirs. I ended up calling the couple and explaining
the situation. They were understanding, albeit a little frustrated, but agreed to move their session
to the next day. They had to move their schedule around a bit, but they want to get their invites sent
out ASAP.

Did I do the right thing?
This is my first time double-booking and it felt like I couldn't operate my business. The maternity
client doesn't know anything about the double-booking since I rescheduled the couple. The couple
seemed very understanding but I felt so guilty pushing their session back 1-day. How should I hav
handled this situation?
 

ronlane

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Sounds okay to me. (although, I have no experience with this.) I'd just make sure to edit their files first because of the tight deadline to get out the invitations.
 
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NedM

NedM

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Sounds okay to me. (although, I have no experience with this.) I'd just make sure to edit their files first because of the tight deadline to get out the invitations.

I know! I'm going to expedite their photos, so they have their images in time. I just never had this happened before -- I'm usually fantastic with my time management.
 

tirediron

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First time for everything; s**t happens. I usually offer at least a small discount as well anytime something happens that is my fault.
 
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NedM

NedM

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First time for everything; s**t happens. I usually offer at least a small discount as well anytime something happens that is my fault.

I'm trying to figure what I can offer to this couple for the inconvenience. Their shoot was complimentary. I'm thinking about throwing in a couple of prints for my mistake.
 

tirediron

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First time for everything; s**t happens. I usually offer at least a small discount as well anytime something happens that is my fault.

I'm trying to figure what I can offer to this couple for the inconvenience. Their shoot was complimentary. I'm thinking about throwing in a couple of prints for my mistake.
That would be good. I'm a firm believer in customer service, and when I mess up, I think it's only fair to make it up to the customer somehow. It doesn't have to be a lot, but some acknowledgement of the fact that you boo-boo'd and they accepted it.
 

Advanced Photo

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Do the maternity shoot at dawn to symbolize the new day new life aspect of the shoot, and the engagement during the golden hour at sunset.
Solved.
 

OGsPhotography

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I hope you've bought a calendar by now.

Whoever booked first should have been shot, just a general rule of thumb of mine, the second was a mistake which should be owned up to as fast as you realize it was double booked.

I have 3 people booking me ( catering) and if its not on my calendar I consider the day open. People have to look at the same calendar, and write it down!

Did the maternity shoot reschedule 3 times because of their schedule? I dont know if I'd book them again.

Ive had a client cancel 4 times ( catering) and they keep coming, they are an afterthought to say the least now.
 
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NedM

NedM

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I hope you've bought a calendar by now.

Whoever booked first should have been shot, just a general rule of thumb of mine, the second was a mistake which should be owned up to as fast as you realize it was double booked.

I have 3 people booking me ( catering) and if its not on my calendar I consider the day open. People have to look at the same calendar, and write it down!

Did the maternity shoot reschedule 3 times because of their schedule? I dont know if I'd book them again.

Ive had a client cancel 4 times ( catering) and they keep coming, they are an afterthought to say the least now.

I use Google Calendars to keep track of my client session all across my devices. I've recently discarded the use of my physical
daily planner as it is a little tedious to travel with. I am always on top of my scheduling, but in this case, I accidentally mis-scheduled
a session which caused an unforeseen double-booking. I was able to spot the mistake quickly and apologize to the appropriate party. I did end
up rescheduling the couple as opposed to the maternity client. Her previous reschedules were due to her lack of remembering. I'm hoping
this time around she doesn't forget or cancel last minute and if she does then I can reschedule my couple to take her spot instead... Which
would work our tremendously. Ultimately, I was able to schedule both clients and with little frustration. I'm just glad everything is sorted
and not blown out of proportion. :)
 
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NedM

NedM

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Do the maternity shoot at dawn to symbolize the new day new life aspect of the shoot, and the engagement during the golden hour at sunset.
Solved.

As much as I would love to photograph a maternity session at Dawn, I don't think the mother to-be would consider waking up that early. :icon_smile:
 

RyanLilly

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Send the couple a framed photo of the best shot or two. A personal touch like that makes people know that they are more than a paycheck.
 

vintagesnaps

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Are you just doing this for free? not charging or doing contracts or anything? Get some procedures and policies set up (if you're charging the going rate, if you're just doing freebies that limits what you can do). I don't know about the 4th reschedule on the maternity shoot, they most likely should have lost the retainer/deposit the first time much less two more going on three times - which is why photographers do that, to help make sure people show up!

Other than double checking and trying to catch mistakes asap I'm not sure what else to suggest, just contact them and correct the problem right away. And offer some compensation (which you can't do and give a discount if they're not paying anyway).
 

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