Answering Service Case Study: Photographer Uses Answering Service to Standout

Kylie began searching the internet for photographers. She and her fiancé were making slow progress at planning their wedding in June. Their next task was finding a photographer.

She knew she should have started earlier, but six months seemed like plenty of time; she was about to learn differently. Kylie looked at an impressive online ad and punched the number into her phone.

A harried woman answered. She showed no interest in talking to a potential customer. Kylie explained she needed a photographer for a June wedding.

“Sweetheart, I’ve got some news for you,” she said tersely. “June next year, we can do, but nobody will have room for June this year. We book a year in advance.” Embarrassed, Kylie thanked her and hung up.

She called several more photographers. Twice she got voicemail and left messages. One photographer didn’t even have an answering machine; the phone just rang and rang. After about a dozen rings, Kylie hung up. Three others confirmed what the first one had said; one even laughed.

Next Kylie called her mother. She cried.

When Kylie returned to her task, she noticed a listing: “Linda Rahn, ten years of friendly, professional service.” Kylie punched in the number.

A woman picked up Kylie’s call on the second ring. For the first time, she heard a friendly voice, “Linda Rahn Studios, this is Terri.”

Kylie explained her situation to Terri, who said Ms. Rahn was already booked that day but might be able to work something out. Terri asked Kylie some other questions and promised to let Ms. Rahn know. Terri also let Kylie know that Ms. Rahn was conducting a sitting but would call when she finished.

Terri, an operator at a high-end telephone answering service, emailed all the necessary details to Linda.

An hour later, Linda called Kylie back. They made arrangements for an early afternoon “studio” wedding. Then her assistant photographer would cover the reception. Relieved at finally finding someone willing to work with her, Kylie shared her appreciation with Linda.

Linda smiled. “Some photographers are excellent at taking pictures, but not so good at running a business.” The key is knowing just how much you can handle, and how much to leave to others. “This is the mark of a true professional. And my answering service does an excellent job at helping me be professional.”