In honor of being in a scurry to get ready for all things dog for Weston’s 2nd birthday party on Saturday, (which I can’t believe is here!) I’ll make it short and sweet today. And I’ll even relate our blog post today to him. So, happy birthday my sweet little baby doll, this is because of you!
Your Loyalty Lies in Your “Special Cart”
Few businesses work to make your life easier. They just aren’t that focused on you. They’re focused on them. And how to get the most money from you possible, while spending the least money possible. To some, that’s the very definition of a well run business. But, as you know, to me, it’s absolutely not. A business should have far greater goals than that. Like, having a “special cart.”
As any parent can attest to, kids hate errands, but they love independence. And, by definition, they feel out of control with errands. They’re just being drug from one store to the next, with no ability to stop the horribly boring process and do what they want. They’re just along for the awful ride. Pleading with you to make it stop. So, suffice it to say, when a store figures out how to make this process easier, they have a loyal parent for life.
On my own ever exhausting party planning errands, I found only two stores who made my life a lot easier. Home Depot and Schnucks, a local grocery store. Now what are they doing that’s so miraculous? So great that Weston actually looks forward to running errands there? They have, as Weston calls them, “special carts.” Home Depot has a cart where the child is turned around facing away from you and with a steering wheel in front so he feels like he’s driving the cart. And at Schnucks there’s a miniature cart that children are able to push on their own. I literally go to these stores, just because of these carts. And clearly these carts don’t have any cutting edge design or gadget. There’s no buttons to push on the cart, nothing electronic, nothing over the top. Just a simple way to keep a child entertained and feeling a part of the experience. Which allows the parent to pleasantly shop along for longer. And to keep coming back again and again. Because they just made shopping easier.
Find Out What Your “Special Cart” Is
So my advice to you is this, make designing with you easier. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary. Just find a way to make buying from you, a little bit easier than buying from someone else. There are a lot of talented designers out there. So you have to find a way to stand out. And what better way to stand out than to make your clients’ lives easier? And it doesn’t have to be a lot of work either. Home Depot has no extra work once those carts are made. Neither does Schnucks. So, think of what you can create once, that will continually make your client’s lives easier.
Think of your process. What causes people to only ask for a design in one room, instead of two? What causes people to only ask for a paint consultation, instead of a full service design? What causes friction in the design process? What keeps people from designing with you again? Is it because they just assume your prices are too expensive and they don’t ask, and you never tell them? Is it because they assume it will take far too long? Is it because they haven’t had an update on the delivery status in 3 months and they’re irritated with you and the process? Take time to think through what some of the biggest pain points are in your design process, and what might keep people from working with you more. And then make it easier.
Create a print out comparing all of your services, a good better best situation. Give this to every client who asks only for a paint consultation or a designer for a day. With timelines, put your typical timeline on your site. Let clients know what to expect, before they ever get into it. They might just realize, hey, I do have time for a full service design. If they haven’t heard from you in 3 months, set up a series of reminders for yourself to send a “keep them engaged and excited” email every two or three weeks. A teaser email with a few pictures of items that have been delivered in the last few weeks. Or a tracker email showing what percentage of the items have been delivered.
Remember, you’re a client too. Of other businesses. What have they done in the past that made your life easier? What have they done that showed, wow, they understand what makes this process difficult, and they’ve worked to make it easier. Can you use any of that in your own business? And did you go back again, just because it was easier? I’m going to guess yes. So put yourself in your client’s shoes. What can make the design process stressful? How can you make it just a little bit easier? It doesn’t have to mean cutting your prices, or personally calling them to talk for 30 minutes every Friday to give them an update. It can be something that you create once, and then just keep using over and over. Because you understand who your clients are, what makes working with an interior designer difficult, and you’ve worked to make it just a little bit easier.
If you’d like even more help finding out what your “special cart” is, go here to find out how!