Make It Personal
We've all heard the saying that you should never take things personally, but there ARE times when that's just not true! I've found that there are so many times when getting personal in the design business is definitely called for - here are just a few!
The Personal Touch
When clients hire you for a project, they're hiring YOU. I can hear you saying "Uh, yeah, Kathleen. I know that!" But here's what I mean by that...they want to see YOU involved in their projects as much as possible. I've known a few designers who meet with the client to seal the deal and then just turn it all over to their staff and walk away. In today's economy, that isn't what clients expect! I know you can't be everywhere at once, so of course, there will be times when your team steps in. But you should be sure you're emailing and calling your clients regularly. And that there are times when you're there for the face-to-face. Keep that personal touch!
Another great time to get really personal is at the beginning of a project. You need to know EVERY single detail about your clients and the family so you can deliver a gorgeous house that completely supports them and the way they live! How are you going to do that if you don't get super-personal? You can't. So have detailed questionnaires, ask a million questions, be sure you're getting the heart of HOW they live!
Show Some Personality
Now that you know so much about your clients, deliver a home that has a LOT of personality. Show that you listened to them! Frame that extra-special family photo. Mix a completely custom color that matches the pottery they picked up on their honeymoon. Give the dog a fantastic feeding station that shows you know HE'S really the star of the family! A house with a lot of personality is the very best way to show them you care about what you do.
Finally, you have to give each client a very personal experience. That doesn't just mean great customer service. It means going beyond that to making it an INCREDIBLE event for them! Make every face-to-face meeting exceptional, with flowers, candles, and nibbles. Give them small gifts and tokens. Send flowers for no reason. Keep dog biscuits in your car for their fur baby. And of course remember birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. WOO THEM! You want them to remember their time with you as above-and-beyond. Because word-of-mouth is still the #1 way designers get MORE clients!
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.