By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
How do you “wow” your clients? As soon as you interview that ideal client it’s important to have a plan in place to create that wow factor in your current and future relationship.
Design a thorough questionnaire with questions that increase your effectiveness and ability to amaze throughout the project. Beyond the basic questions about the project, include questions that capture information about their family, lifestyle, favorite restaurants, music, etc. If you have a thorough ideal client profile, use that to create your questions. The goal is that you will be able to have a complete “picture” of your clients so that they will be amazed when you send an ideal client a gift certificate at their favorite restaurant for their anniversary, or a gift certificate at a favorite spa, or even a “wine down” basket designed for them to wind down at the end of a week and in the midst of a remodel to help them keep focused on the light at the end of construction! You might put it together with the help of their favorite wine store with their favorite wines and other items.
Brainstorm with your team and think of all the questions you wished you had had answers to in previous jobs – and include them in the questionnaire. It needs to be very thorough and could easily be 8 – 10 pages (which includes room for them to fill in their answers).
Don’t underestimate the power of an old-fashioned note in the mail. These days people are so overwhelmed with technology that when a card or a thank you note arrives in the mail, it gets noticed – and remembered. It’s also a reason to connect with clients after the project is completed by sending them a birthday and/or anniversary card. You also might pick a holiday that is not the most popular for sending cards and then your card will get more notice. Maybe “Happy First Day of Summer – or Fall”, or Happy Independence Day. And for a particularly special client you may want to include a little gift card – maybe they have a favorite coffee or tea place, or a favorite florist. It will amaze them that you remembered and they will remember you!
At the end of the project, you might have a special dinner catered for them to be delivered to their home if they have just moved back in and it will allow them to relax and enjoy the newly remodeled home.
Or you might partner with a caterer who would like referrals also and after the design work is completed, offer to hold a “reveal” party for your clients and the guests of their choice – giving you and the caterer an opportunity to showcase both of your work, and the client the opportunity to rave about working with you and refer you to their friends.
So go beyond just what your contract said you would do. When a business does the unexpected, people remember – and will share that experience with others!