First of all, I wanted to thank all of you who took a few moments to fill out the survey surrounding the topics you’d like to see in the upcoming video courses. We’ve gotten some great feedback so far but would always love more! So if you’ve haven’t gotten a chance to do that yet, there’s still time! You can share your thoughts here until the end of the week. And again, it doesn’t take long, only one or two minutes!
Next up, a chance to register for a webinar! I’ll be partnering with Mydoma again today to discuss how to effectively ask for client feedback, and I’ll be sharing the 6 questions every designer needs to ask their client. You can sign up below and even if you know you can’t make it, you can sign up and then receive the recorded webinar later. I’ll also be sharing an amazing giveaway as well that’s only for webinar attendees. So don’t miss out! Click here to register.
A Great Client Experience is Profitable for Your Heart & Your Bottomline
Now onto this week’s post – getting better profits from a better client experience. Now, usually we discuss all the ways to handle clients, how to maneuver difficult situations, how to go above and beyond and really make clients feel special, etc. But today I wanted to get into the why. I wanted to really focus on why paying so much attention to your client experience is not only just good for the soul (which it is), but also a highly profitable, long term business strategy.
And sometimes the best way to do that is with numbers. And not to bore you with stats, but they really are pretty impressive. According to a study done by Walker, by 2020, the client experience will overtake price and product as the main differentiator among businesses. And according to a study done by PwC, 73% of consumers said that the client experience is an essential factor in their purchasing decision, no matter if the business is large or small.
But even more exciting? According to that same study done by PwC, clients are willing to pay up to 16% more for a better client experience. So that means if you’re charging $150 per hour right now, and your firm is billing 2,080 hours per year (40 hours per week), your firm would be bringing in $312,000. But if you focused on your client experience and raised your fees accordingly by 16% to $174 per hour, you could be bringing in $361,920 for working the same hours. A boost of $49,920 in one year because you focused on providing a spectacular client experience. Now think about the difference over two years, five years, 10 years. What a HUGE difference. What would you even do with all of those extra profits? I’m guessing you could probably figure it out.
But not only does providing an amazing client experience mean you can charge more, it also means your operating costs go down. You have to spend less time and money finding new clients because they refer you and keep coming back for more, less time and money covering mistakes that could have been prevented with a consistent system in place, and less time and money spent finding great staff. As happy clients, start with happy employees. And happy employees rarely leave.
What Does an Amazing Client Experience Cost?
Now what does an amazing client experience cost you? It really doesn’t have to cost you much of anything if you don’t want it to. If all you can afford is a box of Thank You cards and some stamps, you can absolutely still provide an amazing client experience.
The client experience is about the thought that’s taken to provide a seamless and consistent experience to your clients, from beginning to end making sure that they’re always heard throughout the project, and always aware of what’s going on. Now providing an amazing client experience does take time, but mostly during the initial stages when you’re laying down the foundation. Once it’s been laid though, it actually saves you time as you’ve drastically increased your efficiency.
And how much money does it take? Very little, unless you want to treat your clients here and there throughout the project. And especially if you have some technology skills to automate some of your tasks and are capable of making some changes here and there to your website, there isn’t really much cost involved. At least for you as a design firm. For a corporation? Yes, there can be costs. But in a design firm, very little.
Clients Will Pay You More, If You Just Provide a Great Experience
So I encourage you to really take some time to start thinking about how you can take your client experience to the next level. How can you start delivering a more profitable experience, one that clients will pay more for? What will it take? Will it take being more consistent about your updating schedule? Will it take having more conversations about what to expect throughout the project, and creating more corresponding documents to share with clients? Will it take finding more vendors that are as dedicated to providing an exceptional client experience as you are?
Whatever it takes, now is the time to move forward. 2020 is just around the corner. And client experience is the way to truly stand out, especially in the crowded field of interior design. When clients are in search of a designer, they’re no longer just looking at whose style they like the most. They’re now also considering just as heavily which designer will provide the kind of experience they want. They’ll consider it so important, that they’re actually willing to pay you more for it. And that’s something you can literally take to the bank.
If you’d like even more ideas on how to provide the kind of client service that gets you higher fees and profits, visit the Client Service Consultation page to find out more!