During a renovation project, customers will be investing their money, time and hope, so building a strong, positive bond with the customer will be crucial to earning their trust. Understanding how each customer differs, what matters to them most, and how best to communicate with them will help deliver a first-class service every time.
Houzz.co.uk, the online platform for home renovation and design, has consulted with its community of professionals, which now totals more than 2.7 million globally, to draw up a list of the four archetypes of clients that every professional in the sector should know and how to prepare to better meet their needs.
These are the type of clients who, when faced with multiple possibilities, struggle to make a decision, sometimes taking up a lot of valuable time, or putting things behind schedule.
There are several reasons why a client may behave in this way. It might be their first renovation project, and they’re afraid of making a wrong decision. They might feel as though they don’t have enough information, and there are some people who just don’t like the pressure of making decisions.
Guide this customer from start to finish, so that they are aware that every step they take, they are doing the right thing. With tools like Houzz Pro, professionals can create detailed proposals and clients can approve or reject them, in whole or in part. The process is fluid and fast, and illustrative materials can be included, helping the client to really visualise every decision they’re making.
For many clients, staying on budget is the top priority. According to the latest Houzz & Home report, 18% of homeowners selected ‘sticking to the budget’ as one of the main difficulties encountered during home renovations. However, this should not be seen as an obstacle for professionals, but rather as an opportunity to come up with creative ideas and gain the trust of the client.
To establish a budget, first define what the client’s wishes and expectations are. Create as accurate a picture as possible in the mind of the customer of what the end result will be, so that they can understand whether the estimated amount will be realistic.
With Houzz Pro all communications are centralised and financial documents can be signed digitally, so both the homeowner and the professional have transparency in all financial decisions that are made, including any budget changes.
This customer knows exactly what they want, might have previous experience with renovation projects, reads all the specialised magazines and has done a lot of research before starting. Therefore, their expectations and level of demand are very high, so they can pose a real challenge for professionals.
Here, it’s important to guarantee impeccable service, anticipate needs and always be willing to offer new ideas. The visual and practical aspects of a project are very important, use colour cards and visuals.
The fearful client is distinguished from all the others, by the fear that everything could go in the opposite direction to their expectations, especially in the execution phase of the project.
It is important that the professional in these cases has a great capacity to manage contingencies and clearly defines every step during the project development.
Also, a fundamental factor is communication. Updating the client on all the steps and changes of direction of the project to avoid any surprises will be key. Within Houzz Pro, professionals are able to share a personalised client dashboard, where the homeowner can access the full communication history, financial documents and daily logs of activity on-site, as well as the project timeline, helping them to feel confident about the status of their project and enjoying the process from start to finish.
Over 1,400 decorators have already created a profile on Houzz.co.uk, where consumers, interior designers and other trades can then link up or request their services. Simply visit www.houzz.co.uk/getStartedPro and sign up today – It’s free!