Episode 39: 10 Ideas to Serve Your Clients in Unexpected Ways

So many businesses have gone from thriving to barely surviving right now in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis. Amazing service is the key to weathering this storm, and today we’re sharing 10 ways that we go above and beyond to serve our clients and knock their socks off. Happy clients equal repeat clients and kickass referrals!

This is the last episode of Season 3 and we’ll be taking a break for a while, and we’d love to hear your ideas for future episodes and future podcast guests. Please email hello@designersgettingcoffee.com – we love to hear from you.

Episode 39 Show Notes

Key Takeaways:

  • [6:53] Given everything changing in the world, there’s now a shift to bigger, deeper, more meaningful connections in the level of service. Service is crucial now to set yourself apart and to help business come in the door even when things are uncertain
  • [8:34] These are 10 things we do in our businesses that we feel sets us apart and adds a special touch to keep clients happy and coming back and sending us referrals
  • [11:57] Do common things uncommonly well. If you pay attention and get creative, the simplest of things that you already do in your company can be ways that you go the extra mile
  • [8:53] Doing your best to beat your deadlines
  • [8:57] For example, if you tell your clients you’ll have their design presentation ready in 8 weeks, you want to be presenting in 6 or 7 weeks
  • [9:20] This shows how effective and efficient you are and that you are paying attention to their needs
  • [9:31] Make it a point to underpromise and overdeliver. You have to plan for it, it won’t happen accidentally
  • [12:46] Remembering names of kids and pets 
  • [12:58] You can ask for their names in questionnaires they fill out before meeting them
  • [13:30] If they have a pet or you know their kids will be home, you can bring pet treats or a small toy to give to them. Not only does this look thoughtful, but it will keep their kids busy so they can focus on their time with you
  • [14:18] Create an online launchpad to start a project  
  • [14:24] It’s basically a custom webpage on your website that is password-protected and a unique link just for the client 
  • [14:39] The webpage includes the steps and what to expect, links to sign their contracts and fill out questionnaires 
  • [15:01] This will boost clients’ confidence in your process and workflow. It also helps make everything more accessible as clients have all they need in one page
  • [17:18] “What’s Next” PDF series
  • [17:28] These are PDFs that you send at specific points throughout the process. Many times clients don’t know what to expect or prepare and this is a way to help them
  • [17:37] For example, one of the PDFs is sent a week before the design  presentation. It includes steps such as making sure their children are not present and coming in with a mindset of making decisions
  • [20:33] Once again, initiatives like these highlight that you’ve got your systems and processes locked down
  • [21:20] Sending physical packages in the mail with surprise gifts
  • [21:34] These gifts can include makeup, candy, gift cards, mini bottles of champagne
  • [22:41] You can keep a box of small gifts or items you receive that you don’t need and give it to clients instead next time you send a package 
  • [23:23] It adds a little special touch of surprise that makes it fun!
  • [24:12] Sending clients end of week updates
  • [24:19] During design development when you’re doing sourcing and budgeting, you might not have a lot of updates 
  • [24:45] But it’s a good practice to send a quick email at the end of every week letting clients know that you’re working hard and you’re excited to meet them
  • [25:10] During implementation, you can send more detailed updates such as recaps on your progress with contractors, status on deliveries, etc.
  • [27:05] This can really ease clients’ minds and let them know you’re thinking of them
  • [27:35] Creating follow-up sequences so things don’t fall through the cracks
  • [27:41] There’s certain tasks and follow-ups you need to accomplish throughout the process to get where you need to go in the project
  • [28:01] For example, if you know the design presentation is happening on a certain date, you can create templates and automate the process so the tasks pop up and are accomplished before the presentation
  • [28:24] Nowadays, so many people leave you hanging so having these follow-up sequences ready to go will make you clients feel well taken care of
  • [29:06] Do what you can to be proactive and get ahead of things with your clients
  • [29:36] Booking a hotel room for clients the night of the installation
  • [29:42] The biggest reason to do this is so that you’ll have more time to finish the install. This only makes sense on really big installation projects
  • [30:15] A nice hotel room and dinner should cost you around $250 and for projects that are this big, it should be part of your budget
  • [30:42] Doing this means it’s a treat for them as they go straight to the hotel after work and then you’ll have time to bring in your photographer in the morning while everything is still crisp and complete
  • [31:07] Celebrate your clients’ birthdays
  • [31:14] Take note of their birthdays in the initial client questionnaire then put into your calendar as a recurring task 
  • [31:31] Mail a birthday card with no strings attached and a simple message. You can buy blank birthday cards on bulk on Amazon and it takes 5-10 minutes to do each week 
  • [32:54] People love to be remembered and you never know what kind of impact it will make! 
  • [33:32] You can also do this for clients’ anniversaries
  • [33:58] End of project binders for full-service and bigger projects
  • [34:06] These binders can include copies of any warranty information, receipts, care and cleaning of products, upholstery codes, care and maintenance for plants
  • [35:21] You can also include fabric and paint swatches for their reference

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