Leading Bangladeshi interior design firm Tilottoma explains the importance of ensuring customer satisfaction in interior design, and also how an interior designer should deal with dissatisfied customers.
We interior designers talk a lot about all things interior design.
We talk about creativity, we talk about Modern vs Contemporary Design, we may even talk about taxes on services like interior design services.
But, we probably don’t talk about customer satisfaction as much as we should.
Having defended our position as a top interior design company in Bangladesh over many years, Tilottoma knows full well the value customer satisfaction builds for an interior design company (in the USA, in Bangladesh, wherever).
We also know how dissatisfied customers can sting an interior design company.
And that’s why we’ve decided to talk about customer satisfaction today.
The cautionary tale of Homepolish
When Homepolish started out in 2012 as an interior design services platform, it seemed destined for startup success.
It promised to match clients to designers, had its own online store of design materials and proprietary tools to help interior design customers plan and monitor their interior design projects better.
It was great going for some time and Homepolish secured several tranches of funding.
However, last week, Homepolish announced that it had run out of funds, new investors weren’t coming and it could cease to exist as a going concern.
What went wrong?
Maybe a lot of things.
But what is appearing prominently in discussions is that dissatisfied customers uploaded accounts of their unhappy experiences online and obviously gave the company bad reviews. That could have been a big trigger.
Clearly, interior designers need to take customers seriously.
What steps can interior designers take to ensure customers are satisfied with their work?
1. Discuss the project extensively
Every single interior design project is preceded by an extensive discussion between the designer and the customer about the project.
Just as customers are encouraged to discuss the project extensively with interior designers, interior designers are also encouraged to discuss the project extensively with the customers.
The mere fact that you are discussing it with them will imply that you are anxious to get it right.
Plus it also gives you, the designer, a chance to fully understand the customer’s tastes.
2. Give them every chance to remain involved in the design project while it’s ongoing
This may prove a bit tiresome at times since some clients may want clarifications on everything but, trust me, having the client involved will iron out many issues when the job is still ongoing and it’s far easier to address those issues.
3. Respect the client
Don’t make them feel unsmart or intimidated. Pay attention to what they have to say.
If you don’t, while they may continue with you, they’re likely to give you bad reviews after the project is finished.
4. Keep a watch on your online profiles
Nowadays, almost every online forum allows reviews to be posted.
So, wherever you have a profile, Google My Business, Facebook Business, Yelp, Angie’s List or wherever – keep a watch on it to see what kind of reviews you’re getting.
5. Deal with reviews intelligently
- A good review is a good marketing opportunity
- A bad review is a good marketing opportunity
Let me explain.
If you get a good review and you reply to it, thanking the reviewer for their kind words and saying that you look forward to working with them again, it shows that you value client relationships and that comes in handy in getting both new and repeat clients.
If you get a bad review and you write back, apologizing for the bad experience and asking them for a meeting to go over the project and see if remedies are possible, people will see you as someone who thinks clients matter. Once again, it will help you get more clients.
Interior design is not like a hair styling service.
Even a full service interior designer may not get projects every day. And every project can take weeks to complete.
So, every client matters.
And you should see to it that you give every effort to ensure that any client who deals with you is satisfied with your efforts at attending to their requests.