Well with only a few days left of the Early Bird Pricing, now is the perfect time to join the growing list of registrants for the last and final session of “The Exceptional Experience!” We just wrapped up the Fall session on Monday and it was an absolutely phenomenal time! Every designer was able to gain so much value out of it in different ways – specific to where their firm was, what their challenges were, and where they wanted to go. It was so wonderful to see each and every designer take on the information in their own way, and plan out their next stage of growth and opportunity.
And now we’ll be starting our final session on November 4th! The Early Bird promo code EARLYBIRDWINTER has been extended for just a few more days, to next Monday, October 21st but it will be gone at that time. And honestly, what better time to learn how to deliver the kind of client experience that can elevate your entire design firm (and raise your profits), than at the end of the year?! Start 2020 off with a bang by registering for “The Exceptional Experience” here!
Looking Around for Inspiration
Now onto this week’s post! With High Point Market only days away, inspiration is about to be everywhere. And whether you’re going or not, that inspiration will be splattered all over social media – the new trending finishes, the new colors, the new patterns, the new shapes, for weeks to come. It’s an exciting time of year for the design world, and for good reason!
But what about the rest of the year when Market isn’t around you? Where do you find your inspiration? From daily life, from nature, from movies, fashion, travel, etc? I’m guessing that yes, that’s exactly where you find it. As a designer you’re able to see inspiration all around you, everywhere you go. Your eye is naturally inclined and tuned in to the design that surrounds you. That’s how you know that well, you’re born to be a designer. But I challenge you to notice something else as well. Fantastic client service.
Looking Around for Stand Out Service
If you’ve ever noticed that a large majority of the time, I write about spectacular, or sub-par, service that I’ve experienced in every day life. Then I relate it to the business of interior design. It’s just the same as when you may look at the gorgeous feathers of a bird, and think about how that could relate to a design. That’s because most of the time, great ideas come from looking outside of your own industry, and then adapting them back to what you do.
While there’s certainly something to be said for learning from other design firms and how they do things – there’s also an enormous opportunity for learning from industries that have nothing to do with yours. And with client service and the client experience, that’s especially true. Small businesses, medium sized businesses, and huge corporations are constantly coming up with better and better ways to serve their customers, make things easier for them, make things more intuitive, and take things to the next level. That in turn means more and more opportunities for you to see those ideas, adapt them to interior design and your own firm, and then take them and run with it.
You Have to Experience Good Service First
Right now I’m reading a book about spectacular client service and experience called “Secret Service” by John R DiJulius III (recommend by the fantastic business coach Michele Williams). He runs a number of high end salons, but the book isn’t of course just for salon owners, it’s for anyone who runs a business. He shares his own systems, his own ideas for going above and beyond for his clients, and then it’s up to the reader to figure out how they can adapt and implement these ideas in their own firm. And it’s fantastic.
He has a million real life stories about ways that he recognizes amazing employees, how he rights the disasters that naturally happen in any business (one of which includes over processing a woman’s hair to the point of it falling out, yikes!), and the ways he manages it all as his business continues to grow. It’s a highly recommended read for anyone interested in learning more and more about the value and benefits of client service, and a super easy one at that. But maybe my favorite lesson of the entire book? “You can’t deliver good service until you experience it yourself.” But that doesn’t mean they go to another high end salon and have their hair cut, colored, and styled there. Nope, instead he takes them to a five star restaurant to experience the sights, sounds, phrasings, and forethought that goes behind that level of service when it comes to dining. What a great idea – and experience.
Now thankfully in order for you and your employees to deliver a spectacular experience, you don’t have to hand over a fortune on high end dining just to know what good service is. But you do still want to experience it. You do still want to go out of your way to know what good service is, think about why it made you feel the way that it did, and what nuggets of wisdom you can glean from it and use for your own firm.
Always Be Thinking, “How Can I Do This for My Own Clients?
So whenever you’re out on your typical coffee run, or at your hotel while visiting High Point, or just going to the grocery store, really stop and notice all of the things that that business has (or hasn’t) done to make sure your time with them is pleasant. How have they anticipated your needs? How have they solved a problem for you, before it even occurred? What would have made this experience even better? Was there something you wished they had done? And then think – how can I do this for my own clients?
The world is your oyster when it comes to inspiration. Everywhere you turn, design is there. Now most of it you may not like, but some of it you may love and you take note and learn from it. The same thing occurs with service. Every time you walk into a business, some level of client service and experience is there. Again, most of it you may not like or be impressed by, but some of it you may love. Take note. Dive deep to figure out what you don’t like, what you love, and how you can learn from both.
Because at the end of the day, what your clients say about you, and write about you, is going to focus on two things – your design and your service. Your finances, social media presence, your website, etc. all of those things are absolutely crucial to your business success. But when it comes down to it, none of your clients will write about any of those topics in a review. Nor will they be sharing that kind of info at the next party they attend. But what they will share is this – how beautiful the space is, and how well you took care of them.
Share in the comments below, where do you get your inspiration from? Both for design and client service, I’d love to hear!
And if you want to make sure that what your clients say and write about you is nothing short of spectacular, join“The Exceptional Experience,” for the last session of 2019!
During our time together you’ll get even more ideas on how to provide the kind of client experience that gets you greater profits, efficiency, and loyalty, register here now!