Interior Design

Dealing with interior design client: Business success is more than design

Dealing with interior design client: Business success is more than design. 3 tips for establishing good relationships with clients.

Interior design and decoration seem to be a fancy job. Interior designers turn fantasy and creativity into reality. While they are committed to visualizing beauty, it’s subject to interior design client requests. In no way could interior design companies be more successful if they don’t prioritize clients’ preferences. 

Interior design business success is more than your design

Challenges that interior design companies may face: 

Challenge to sell and convey interior design ideas and styles to clients

Sometimes interior designers have fantastic design ideas. However, how can they convey them into reality? It’s hard to sell something that doesn’t physically exist. Even though the interior design industry well recognizes some design ideas and styles, do interior design clients appreciate them? Would they demand these interior design ideas and styles?

Moreover, interior designers need to catch on to the trend and keep enriching their knowledge. Designs go outdated quickly. Hence they need to continually study as long as they still work in this industry.  

Hard to coordinate different stakeholders simultaneously

On their way to realizing their clients’ expectations, interior design companies also bear the responsibility to coordinate project construction, meet the deadline, and control the design and construction budget at the same time. It’s not an easy task. Conflicts always arise while all stakeholders, including designers, construction teams and clients, struggle to reach an agreement. 

Difficult to meet interior design client expectation

Not all clients have relevant knowledge in this area. Therefore, they may ask for unrealistic interior design styles. Interior design firms need to balance ‘fulfilling clients’ fantasy’ and ‘adhering to company rules.’ 

As mentioned in the previous section, dealing with clients is a crucial part of interior design companies’ daily routine. Hence they inevitably encounter various kinds of clients. These clients might be stingy, indecisive, extremely picky, or even ‘tasteless.’ Some of them are pretty ok in their daily lives, but why they become different. At the same time, they ask for interior design services? 

Types of interior design clients and solutions
Data Source: Kathy Kuo, Types of interior design clients and solutions

Does Covid-19 pose a challenge to maintaining interior designer’s and clients’ relationships?

In a general mindset, interior designers and clients contact through offline communication. Both parties need to see each other in person to convey the design ideas and demands. Moreover, to monitor construction progress, clients may need to pay an onsite visit to the construction site. 

However, during the pandemic, clients cannot pay onsite visits as frequently due to mobility restrictions. How can they continually monitor construction progress? 

Tips for making your clients feel satisfied

Build interior design qualification, be confident with the work

It may sound a bit irrelevant to interior design client satisfaction. However, interior design qualification is the core to ensure better service quality, which further leads to client satisfaction. Imagine interior design firms that have won lots of rewards and gained a reputation in this industry. Clients are likely to have good first impressions of them before any interaction. Their good impression can partially determine their attitudes towards interior designers. 

Regarding building confidence in work, since not many clients have interior design knowledge, they may have anxiety about receiving an interior design service. The service nature of interior design is credence goods, which means clients may not know whether it’s good or not even after consumption. Also, it costs clients a reasonable amount of money to purchase such a service. All these factors have added up to clients’ complex mindsets when they interact with interior design firms. 

From an interior firm’s perspective, building confidence in their work helps reassure their clients. Interior designers feel confident while designing a project and transfer the confidence to their clients. Clients would be comfortable. They assume that the level of their work will be of high quality because of designers’ self-assuredness.  

Get interior design package and price prepared, clarify terms and conditions.

Most of the time, people get anxious while ambiguity occurs, so do interior design clients. If interior design firms don’t offer clear interior design packages and pricing, clients would likely presume “the firm is tricking me!”. Once this perception arises in clients’ minds, it can worsen interior design firms and clients’ relationships. Conflicts could occur at any time!  

It’s essential to improve the transparency of service terms and conditions. Ask for the client’s budget beforehand. “To simplify what could be an awkward process of making budget revisions, list a range of costs for certain items, as well as labor charges, and suggest that they sign off on expenditures.” Said New York designer Amanda Nisbet. 

Secondly, offer available interior design packages through communicating with clients. Clients don’t necessarily want to feel locked into a designer’s vision. Thus interior designers should be flexible regarding design package. But remember not to overpromise the stuff that is out of firms’ capability!

Use an interior app to manage all your work with clients

In a digital era, how could the interior design industry miss this wave? An interior design app can help reduce workload, especially client communication.

While emails and other tools are there in the market for communication in business, they focus on exchanging messages instead of work management. You may ask, “is it necessary for clients to track our work progress? If so, how? Since they can’t understand our reports at all!” 

Introducing Marki, a watermark app that connects staff, clients and other stakeholders.

Marki Camera, employee managment appExternal video: Introducing Marki

Photo-taking as proof 

During the generation of interior design ideas and construction plans, interior designers and other related employees are likely to create lots of documents and reports, which will be sent to clients for checking and discussions. It’s manageable when you have several clients. However, if they have more than 100 clients with tons of documents? What if your clients are eager to track your work? In this circumstance, things get hectic. 

Don’t worry. Marki is there to help. While preparing documents and reports in the text is time-consuming, photo-taking helps simplify your work progress. Moreover, it can visualize your work so that employees and clients won’t bother imagining it in their minds. 

Marki, Watermark app for managing interior design client
Marki, Watermark app

Add watermarks on photos as job content categorization 

Marki is more than a simple camera. It’s also a watermark app that you can customize watermarks and display on respective photos. For example, your duties include furnishing, installation of design elements, electrical and partition layouts. You can categorize them by adding respective watermarks.

The watermark app can also be used for recording employee attendance. Marki has developed a function, which is auto-generated employee attendance summary, by extracting time from watermarks. Employee attendance can also be recorded anywhere and anytime.  

Marki also provides a mature cloud-based system where you can store your photos. Hence it won’t take up your phone storage.  

Add watermarks on photos
Add watermarks on photos
Employee attendance summary for managing interior design employees
Employee attendance summary

Team Moment as instant message and collaboration 

Team moment is also a core function that Marki provides. With team moments, interior design companies can add relevant interior designers, construction teams and interior design clients into the group. Whoever in this group can upload and synchronize photos with watermarks to the group. The rest of the members can view and comment on them as means of progress and attendance tracking. It simplifies the method to report to business stakeholders. Interior design companies won’t bother explaining industry jargon repeatedly as clients can see the work progress directly.    

Marki Team moment for connecting interior design client
Marki Team moment
Share work progress via third-party apps

Even though your clients haven’t installed Marki, they can still access your work progress through third-party apps. You can share your timestamp photos by tapping the [Share] button, selecting [Copy Link], or any social media platform. The shared link will be automatically generated, and clients can access your work by clicking the link. It will lead them to the landing page to view your work as they do on Marki. Yay! That’s convenient!

Marki, Share work progress via third-party apps
Share work progress via third-party apps
"Marki, Access work progress via WhatsApp and Messenger
Access work progress via WhatsApp and Messenger
"Marki, Landing page, open document via third-party apps
Landing page, open document via third-party apps

In conclusion, managing relationships between multiple parties is a great challenge in interior design. However, interior design qualification providing transparency can smoothen the relationship. To effectively do so, you need an interior design app. Marki is a watermark app that can help.   

Marki is dedicated to providing solutions for different field services, including security guard services, construction progress management, property management, landscaping management and cleaning service. Click for more details.      

Download Marki for free  

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