Video Courses Coming Soon!
Over the last few months you’ve all shared that you’re really interested in learning about what a client service experience is, and how it translates to higher profits, efficiency, and loyalty for you as a designer. But for one reason or another, the personalized client service consultation wasn’t for you. Either you needed the advice faster and weren’t able to wait on a wait list, or needed certain types of advice but not others. Well, I’m listening!
In order to deliver what you’ve asked for, I’ve decided to begin rolling out video course versions of what I do. They’ll start rolling out as the year goes on, but before they do, I first need your thoughts. These courses are for you, the designer, who wants to start implementing a client experience that gets you bigger, better projects, with higher quality clients, in a way that actually makes you more efficient right now. So I need to know what you need the most help with, what your top frustrations are, and if you have anything on your mind that you really wish you could get help with. I want to hear it all! So if you would be so kind to take a minute or two to fill it out. It would be much appreciated! It’s only 9 questions and mostly yes or no answers, so I promise it’s not going to go on endlessly. You can go here to fill it out. And thank you so much in advance for your time and support!
Technology Isn’t Always the Easiest Route
As you know, technology is bittersweet. It makes life both vastly easier, and vastly more complicated. It provides you with opportunities you never could have achieved without it. It also provides you with head banging frustrations you never could have achieved without it. Technology is complicated. Both in its application and in its usefulness.
The other day when we were enjoying our Easter brunch at a popular St. Louis hotel, I took Weston to the bathroom. And when we went to the sink to wash our hands, the lady beside me was doing the normal dodge and weave to convince the automatic soap dispenser that in fact it was a good idea to give her some soap. To no avail. The soap dispenser was unwilling and unwanting. I offered her mine. We had a short conversation about, sometimes simple is best. Just give us a regular old push soap dispenser and it works every time. Sometimes new fangled gadgets actually create more complications, rather than solve problems.
Now the purpose of having an automatic soap dispenser is no doubt numerous. One, people want to touch as few things as possible in the bathroom. So, they’ve automated the faucet, the soap dispenser, the toilet, and the hand dryer. Most of which work say, 70% of the time. The other 30%? We’re left dancing around like fools, dodging and weaving up and down a row of sinks to see which one will be kind to us that day. Which one will dare to bless us with even a small sprinkle of water that may be perhaps set to so hot that you get third degree burns as a result? The same goes with automated paper towel dispensers. It’s another time for us to do a little hand dance, searching underneath to see if it’s stuck, checking the red light to make sure it’s actually on, doing whatever it is in our human power to encourage that paper towel to come hither. And in the end just wiping our wet hands on our pants. Because some times technology works. And some times it doesn’t.
But other than the reasons to keep people from having to touch anything in the bathroom, there’s no doubt a few other reasons. Reduced costs. Reduced mess. No doubt there are some people who waste way too much water. And soap. And paper. They leave the sink on for way too long. Or they use way too much soap. And use way too much paper. And maybe make a mess of it as well. So, the automated options are the control. They control how much soap, how much water, how much paper towel, you receive. Until they don’t. And you end up having to use even more soap because the business has most assuredly chosen the setting marked “1/8 of a normal amount.” So you end up having to elicit four tiny “squirts’ of soap foam from the darn dispenser. Whereas if it would have been a manual dispenser, you would have just used the normal one pump of soap.
Your Technology Needs to Actually Do Its Job, To Warrant Its Salary
So in the end, is the technology working the way you intended? You really have to study it to find out. You need to know why you’ve “hired” technology to do a job for you. As that’s basically what technology is doing. They’re being hired to do a job so that someone else doesn’t have to do it. So, for your online calendar and scheduling system, it’s hired to set your appointments for your initial consultations, your design presentation, any follow up meetings, etc. Is it doing its job? Is it easy to set your calendar? Is it easy to read your calendar? Are clients confused by the email? Are they contacting you to say they never got an email? Or are they contacting you to remember when the next meeting is because their reminder never went through, (or it went into their spam)? If so, it may be time to fire some of your technology.
As technology is hired, it can also be, and should also be, fired. Because technology is often times taking the place of an actual person, you have to continually evaluate its ability to fulfill its intended objectives to justify its payment. Just because you hired it at some point doesn’t mean you can’t fire it. Technology has to prove that its good at its job, the same way an employee does.
Technology Should Only Be Used When It Makes Your Life as a Designer Easier
Technology should be used to make your life, and your client’s lives, easier. If it doesn’t, it needs to be fired. Either the technology needs to be replaced with another type of technology, or it should be moved to a “non-technology” task. Technology will never replace people. Technology will never replace personal connections and relationships. Don’t hesitate to keep certain things simple and old-fashioned, especially when it works far better than technology. Ever been in a bathroom where there’s electric and automated everything, but then you also see a good ol’ fashioned pump soap and a roll or stack of paper towels as well. They decided that it was just easier to make things well, easier, by not using technology. So they went back to methods that had nothing to do with technology.
So really make your technology work for its job. Don’t always assume that automating things will make them easier, or more efficient. Sometimes it actually complicates things and you have to spend time making up for where technology dropped the ball. Or you spend so much time trying to understand it or integrate it into your designer life, that it becomes yet another source of frustration. So study what you are bringing on, and continually observe it. Make sure that your technology is saving you time, or money, or both. Rather than costing you money or time, or both. Just the same as you do with an employee.
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!