Do you amaze your clients?
One of the biggest challenges for most designers is keeping up with all of the moving parts of the business, and often, client service is an afterthought.
This is extremely challenging if you work alone because you are responsible for every single detail in your business, including sales, marketing, designing, coordinating, accounting, filing, communicating, opening the mail, managing your time, expediting, meeting with clients, subs and vendors, researching, shopping, drawing, etc. Are you tired just thinking about it?
What happens for most of us is that we either work ridiculous hours, or we let some things fall through the cracks. What does that do for your brand and your reputation? It can easily destroy all of the hard work you’ve invested into your business if your clients or vendors know that you don’t follow up on details.
One of the most important parts of client service is finding out what your clients want, how they want it and then giving it to them. How would your clients rate you? Have you asked them?
If you haven’t asked your clients, this could be one of the best ways to get back in touch with clients that are taking a break or haven’t done anything with you for awhile, and it could actually help you build your relationship and lead to more business. If you’re not that busy right now, this could be the most important thing you can do to get your clients working with you again.
Here are a few questions to think about and ask your clients (don’t forget to ask your subs and vendors, too. They are really clients, too.)
• How would you rate my client service?
• How well do I communicate with you?
• How would you like to see either one improve?
• How would you rate my dependability?
• How would you rate my integrity?
• How would you rate my communication skills?
• What do you like best about my services?
• What do you like least about my services?
• On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, how likely would you be to recommend me to your friends?
The last question is from an interview with Shep Hyken, author of The Amazement Revolution—Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer and Employee Experience. Shep says that if your rating is 8 or below, the next question should be, “How can I get that to a 9 or 10?” If you are in the middle of the range, something needs to change immediately.
If you have the courage to call your clients and schedule one-on-one appointments to review this, you will be amazed at what it will do for your business.
Think about adding one client call to your list every single day to schedule a conversation.
—Gail Doby, ASID is co-founder of Design Success University, your shortcut to a more profitable and passion-filled design business. We’d love to hear your thoughts. If you like this post, please share it with your friends. Click here to download your free copy of the 2010 – 2011 Interior Design Fee & Salary Survey eBook.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.