Customer service is critical for interior designers – we all know that. After all, the majority of our new clients can come from referrals from former clients! So it is critical to provide the best customer service you possibly can. But we can all get bogged down in the day-to-day and completely forget about those things we should be doing to keep clients happy. So bookmark this page, because I’m going to give you some great ideas!
1. Save Them Time
What do I mean by that? Never ever make them have to reach out to you with a question. Keep them so well informed that you have answered everything before they’ve even thought to ask it! At the beginning of the project, give them all the details they need to understand each step of the process, what the timeline is, and how you plan to keep them informed. And then follow up with weekly emails to update them – there’s always something to tell them! Communication is absolutely key to happy clients.
2. Make Experience Count
One of the top skills for stellar customer service is to make the client think that they are the most important thing in your world! Make the design process and amazing experience! When they meet in your office, be sure there are fabulous snacks, an amazing candle burning, and a small gift to take home. When you visiting their home, have a dog bone with a ribbon wrapped around it as a gift for their fur baby. Remember birthdays and anniversaries. And always make the installation the wow-worthy moment it HAS to be – it’s the money shot! Studies show that luxury clients are willing to pay premiums for experience, so make it the best you possibly can!
3. Listen Up!
Would listening top your list of customer service skills? It should!! Listening to your clients is the only way you can really know what they want, and don’t want. But I want you to take it one step further. You should uplevel your listening skills by showing the client that you heard them. So when you show them the design presentation, you should be able to say: “You told me that you loved the shade of blue on your grandmother’s china, so I chose that exact shade for this window treatment.” How special is that?! When you repeat back their thoughts and ideas, it showed you listened. Pay attention to non-verbal clues, too!! They’ll tell you volumes about what the client likes, and what may be frustrating them.
4. Mean What You Say
And say what you mean! In other words, keep your word. There is nothing a client will appreciate more than you actually staying on time and on budget. Delivering the project in an organized process that is even better than they expected is going to thrill them! So whatever you do, don’t tell them you can do a project faster than you really think you can, or for less money than you know it’s really going to take. Be completely honest with your clients and they will appreciate you more. That trust factor is so important to keeping a client happy!
To help you deliver that fantastic customer service experience, download my FREE Client Touchpoint Worksheet to help you determine the best times to deliver a little bit extra. Remember: A happy client today can mean 4 more tomorrow!