4 Customer Service Ideas You'll Love
There was an interesting study a few years ago that said that "delighted customers are much more likely to be loyal than those who are merely satisfied." DELIGHTED! So how are YOU delighting your clients? That would be anything that goes above and beyond the standard of good customer service. You can't count things like following your processes, holiday presents, delivering a project on time and on budget, or giving them a gift at installation. Those are the expected things that are part of doing your job and doing it well. So how can you offer those fabulous client service ideas? I have 4 that will truly make your clients happy 😆- and will have them referring you to everyone they know!
1. Make an Impression
The first impression that you make on someone lasts for a LONG time. So at any first meeting with a client, you want to look your best AND make them remember you. How? Do your homework. If they have a dog, show up with a small care package of treats and toys. If they have children, bring a package of cuddly toys or gift cards to stores that teens love. If they don't have either one, bring them something like a candle. It doesn't have to cost a lot, just think of ways to show them that you know how to make an amazing impressions.
2. Surprise and Delight
Make surprise part of your design process. What do I mean by that? Plan times throughout the project when you can provide a little surprise for your client. Maybe you purchase a small piece of art that's perfect for their powder bath. Or you could give them a gift card to a fabulous restaurant when their kitchen renovation is ramping up. If the project has had some stressful moments, send them a certificate to a spa. BUT - this shouldn't end when the project ends. You want to continue to keep yourself top of mind with former clients. After all, word-of-mouth is still the #1 way you'll get clients, so you want those previous customers to tell everyone how great you are. For example, send a summer fun package in a tote with their initials. You can include a beach towel, pail and shovel, insulated cups and other fun things. These more special packages should go to your biggest clients - and the ones who have the most influence with a wide network!
3. Practice Active Listening
Too often people say things like: "You have to really hear your clients and what they want." True. But that is NOT active listening. Instead, that is the practice of not only hearing, but repeating back to someone what you have heard. The interesting thing is that you can SHOW them that you heard, too. And that's the key for interior designers. When you present your design to clients, you want to be sure that you tell them what you heard. Like: "You told me that this particular shade of green reminded you of your grandmother's house, so I wanted to be sure that I included it in the plan so you can think of her as you walk through this room." Repeat back the things that they have told you - they will feel touched that you remembered AND it will create a strong emotional connection to the design you're presenting!
4. Make Event-Based Connections
I remember that I once sent a client a bottle of her favorite wine on her wedding anniversary and she was so surprised. She wrote in a thank you note: "How in the world did you remember that?!" She was definitely "delighted"! This is a very easy thing to do that will consistently charm your clients. At the very beginning, I ask my client's to fill out a VERY detailed client questionnaire. And in there I ask for birthdays for EVERY family member, for their special anniversary dates, for names of dogs and cats, and for any other info I can think of that will help me show them I care for YEARS to come. And during the project, I will add to the file anything else I learn that will help me surprise them. I once heard that a particular day was their beloved dog's Gotcha Day (the day the family adopted their pet). So I wrote that down and helped them celebrate it the following year. These are great ways to show thoughtfulness and caring to your best clients - and for years after you complete the project. It's the way that I've kept LONG-TIME clients for decades!!
Use these ideas - and any others you can think of - to impress and surprise your clients! And you can also download my FREE Guide to Giving Your Clients the Best Experience here. Keep that goodwill flowing!