Amanda Pollard, content editor for home renovation and design platform Houzz UK, has consulted with their community of professionals to draw up a list of the four types of client that every professional in the sector should know. Recognise any of these customer profiles?
During a renovation, customers will be investing their money, time and hope into the project so building a strong, positive bond with the client will be crucial to earning their trust. Understanding how each customer differs, what matters most to them, and how best to communicate with them will help deliver a first-class service every time.
1. The indecisive
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 the wrong decision. Or 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 these customers from start to finish so that they are aware that, in every step they take, they are doing the right thing. The professional must accompany, reassure and understand what the client's needs are, to ensure that their wishes are fully satisfied.
2. The budget conscious
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.
To establish a budget, the first thing to do is define what the client's wishes and expectations are. Professionals must 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. A good method used by professionals on Houzz to reassure a client is to offer real examples from past projects.
3. The expert
This customer knows exactly what they want – they might have previous experience with renovation projects, read all the specialised magazines, and have done a lot of research before starting. Therefore their expectations and level of demand are very high, which means they can pose a real challenge for professionals.
Professionals on Houzz suggest in these cases it’s important to guarantee impeccable service, anticipate needs and always be willing to offer new ideas. For this type of client, the visual and practical aspects of a project are very important, so it is advisable to make detailed and updated mood boards and prototypes available at all times. Being prepared with attractive proposals, mood boards and 3D visualisations will help the client see the real benefits of the project with their own eyes.
4. The fearful
According to the latest Houzz & Home report, 17% of homeowners said that one of the most difficult challenges when redesigning a space is "managing the unexpected." Well, 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.
According to the experience of professionals on Houzz, 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 in this typology, the 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.
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