When you’re dating, you usually end the night with a kiss. Depending on how comfortable you are, it may not be on the first date, but eventually it happens and then becomes typical. Why? More than just lust and romance, it’s the finishing touch, the icing on the cake, the cherry on top! When your time has already been enjoyable, you want to make the end a little grand and noticeable. When you don’t at some point, get that goodnight kiss? You just feel – let down, a little confused, a little, uneasy. So remember to always kiss your clients goodnight.
A few weeks ago my husband and I went out on a date to a restaurant we’d heard little about and read only a few fairly vague lines about on their site. We knew it was small and served only a few dishes. That was about it. So we expected a nice evening, but just typical.
When we arrived, it was anything but. I immediately noticed the huge hydrangea bouquets on tables, the beauty of the patio seating, and the overwhelmingly cozy feeling inside. It was really an all encompassing kind of feeling – like you actually walked into another time or place. I immediately turned to Aaron (my husband), and said, I feel like we’re on vacation. Like this isn’t St. Louis anymore somehow. And he agreed.
The walls were covered in a warm red paint, adorned with classic, heavily framed oil paintings, dim lighting, and surrounded in tiny/intimate cafe tables. It was almost like jumping back a hundred years to a bistro in Paris. It was far more than we expected, and thank goodness for that. The evening was set to be awesome already, and then we really got lucky. The general manager was our waiter. Who knows why, but he was! And boy did he treat us well.
We were chatty with him throughout the meal and shared our adorations, about his service, the food, the atmosphere. We just couldn’t believe how much we loved this place, and just had to share. He appreciated all of your comments, and in return treated us to free gruyere puffs (Basically little cheesy puff ball croissants with a hollow center), white wine to pair with my husband’s Bouillabaisse, and a free Grand Marnier chocolate mousse (after we had already ordered a champagne soaked pear)! It was fantastic eatin, and good calorie packin. I’m pretty sure we both ingested about a day’s worth of calories at dinner. But, oh well. It was worth it.
As the evening closed, we expected a little bit of a “moment” with our waiter. We had shared stories, food thoughts back and forth, and even parenting war stories. So naturally we were expecting our good night kiss, or well, the equivalent. But, he dropped our paid bill off, said thank you very much, and walked off. My husband and I felt very confused, and a little let down. What about the little ending conversation, the exchange of niceties? The review of a wonderful evening? Maybe we weren’t getting along as well as we thought? Maybe he doesn’t actually like us? Was it all just for good business? Where was the “Thank you so much for coming, I’m so glad you came out, I really hope to see you back here soon. It’s been so wonderful meeting you tonight.” And then we exchange back, “Well, it really was our pleasure. We had an absolutely unexpected and memorable time, one that we will never forget. We can’t wait to come back and bring others. This place shouldn’t be missed.”
That’s what we’re expecting, but it just ended so abruptly. We felt lost. So lost, that we actually called him back over to do it ourselves. So we led our little “ending moment.” And once we did, he followed suit and shared what we expected. And then the night felt complete. But if we hadn’t done that? Despite having an incredible evening, our memories of it weeks later may not be quite as rosy as they are now. Strange as it is, the brain just loves a good ending.
The moral of this story? When you really share an experience with your client, really take the time to end it properly. You may feel like a room with all of the pieces delivered and repaired, all the invoices paid, and everything checked off your punch list means all is well and you can close this project out. But to your client? It’s not the same. They need that closure. That review of your time together. So often it’s a missed opportunity for good feelings that people just don’t realize. Once you’ve gone through an entire room or home design with someone, you’ve shared a lot – extreme stress and excitement, extreme anticipation and maybe extreme letdown, and months maybe even years worth of time. Give your client the closure that they need. Review with them what happened in your time together, noting all of the positives and even a few of the negatives and how they turned out ok. People need that proper end to really look back and smile about their time with you. If you don’t, they feel a little uneasy. A little unsure of how the overall time should be described.
So go ahead and do them a favor, sit down with them one last time and talk about it. And even more importantly, you’re doing yourself a favor too. You’re reminding your client just how amazing working with you was, by telling them just how amazing it was for you to work with them. That you are just so happy that everything eventually turned out the way they wanted, and you hope they feel the same way. And when it’s time for them to show and tell their friends just how gorgeous their newly designed home is, they’ll not only see but hear just how rare and incredible you are. So, the next time you’re ready to abruptly close out your next project, remember to first, seal it with a kiss (or hug)!
Let me know in the comments below if you remember to give your customers a goodnight kiss!
And if you’d like to get help making your business the one customers remember, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!