• info@cjaccountingservices.com
Header widget area right

Interior Design Customer Service, not Servitude

CJ Accounting
1 comments
Business Ideas, Interior Design

Interior Design Customer Service not Servitude

For most of us in the service industry, we love the service we get to provide, but aren’t too keen on the “customer service” portion. Your business success often depends on the well-oiled machine that is not just your designs, but your interior design firm’s customer service.

Sometimes, our promises to meet client’s demands, end us up here…

Interior Design Customer Service - Rock and a Hard Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As an interior design HR professional (enter shameless self-promotion), I’ve seen A LOT of designer’s end up in not-so-financially favorable positions because they are in a hostage situation with a client.

Here are some steps to preventing the sticky “do as I say or I will destroy your rep” situation…

Outline every possibility in your contract.

Interior Design Contracts

For instance, make sure to put a termination clause in there – what happens if you are let go? What responsibilities fall on the client? Clients will typically understand that as a business, you have an obligation to protect yourself against the unseen. If everything is laid out from the beginning, boundaries are set and your client has a clear understanding of what is to be expected. This also gives you a signed agreement to quote and refer back to later should anything go awry.

A great interior design contract will map out every detail of how your relationship will work before, during and after the project.

Keep a Paper Trail

Interior Design - Keeping a Paper Trail

Quicky phone calls are often super time efficient, but they could come back to bite you later. Keep everything in writing. If a phone call is appropriate, make sure to send a follow up email outlining the details of what was discussed. Taking this small extra step will give you the written proof you may need later for conflict resolution.

Face conflicts head-on.

Interior Design: Facing Problems Head On

IF a problem does arise, fix it. Confront problems right away, so they don’t become bigger later. Always keep an open-honest line of communication with your client – build that trust. It’s important for us to keep our clients stress-free, but not at the cost of your business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above are just tools in your toolbox should a client try to hold you to something that may be out of your control completely. Use them to calmly and politely find a solution that doesn’t throw your business under the bus, or leave your client feeling abandoned. It will also, hopefully, give you the tools necessary to prevent bad online reviews.

Remember, there is a difference between customer service, and customer servitude.

Cheers.

C&J HR Team

Tags: ,

1 Comments

  1. CJ Accounting says:

    Hi Alicia.

    Thank you so much for writing in. Our #1 tip for designers is to develop reasonable expectations. In the service industry, we tend to promise our clients the moon and the stars knowing that they may be out of reach. Let your clients know your limits, and provide alternatives from the very beginning, versus setting yourself up for failure.

    I hope that helps. Best of luck you to 🙂

    The C&J Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>