The late fall is a busy season for picture companies. This is the time that many families arrange to have their Christmas pictures taken and their holiday cards prepared to send out to friends and family. Of course photo companies are more than willing to accommodate this high need for pictures and they offer many different coupons and specials to really draw those family groups in.
Unfortunately, the low cost of the picture packages can lead to high volumes in the studio as well as high hassles as well.
And big crowds lead to very big problems.
Bringing in Big Business
Anyone who has ever had professional pictures taken knows how the game works. You take a bunch of pictures – including quite a few that you’re not really interested in so that you can turn down upsells later – and then thirty minutes later you examine all of the pictures to see what you want to use for your package. The company hopes that you decide against using a single picture in your package and increase your order to include more images, which of course costs more as well.
The process in one of these picture studios – especially those that offer low cost packages – can be tedious at times, but you can generally count on the experience being complete in about an hour.
When the holiday season hits, however, all bets are off on what you should be expecting and what really takes place.
Packing in the Customers
Take for example the national chain of picture studios that sends out a huge number of coupons. When you, the anxious customer, calls to schedule an appointment with the studio, you are given a time and told to be there promptly. No problem, right?
However, when you show up for you appointment – coupon in hand – there is nowhere to sit. The place is packed with people and you start to realize that perhaps those low prices were just a bit too good to be true.
After checking in, you learn that the photo place is running about an hour behind. You’ll need to sit and wait for a full hour before you even start taking pictures. The process will take an hour after that to be complete. The longer you sit, however, the more you realize that an hour was a hopeful figure – it’s going to take much longer.
Faulty Corporate Policies
After you’ve waited perhaps an hour and a half – which is an eternity if you’re trying to get a picture of your young, active children – you’re ready to call it quits. You approach the check-in desk again to follow-up on your original appointment. While the lady is just as nice as can be, she can’t hide the fact that people seem to keep pouring through the door.
Finally, after you’ve started to lose a bit of patience and express your frustration with the whole situation, she lets the truth slip:
The corporate offices require the photo studios to book appointments ten minutes apart.
It takes more than thirty minutes to take pictures. No matter how much the studio wants to help everyone and stay on track, it is physically impossible to do so with three groups scheduled in the amount of time it would normally take one.
It seems those low price pictures have a much higher opportunity cost.
And it’s not surprising many find the savings is simply not worth the cost.