One of the key ingredients to any working relationship is trust, but how do you ensure you establish that with your clients? Andrew Small, senior director of industry solutions home renovation and design platform Houzz UK, shares 5 tips from the Houzz community of professionals to help you strengthen the bond with your clients.
Clients are investing their time, money, and home in your hands, so feeling confident in your ability to deliver the outcome they’re dreaming of is vital to you both working together successfully, and achieving the best possible outcome.
1. Communicate professionally
Timely and efficient communication is a must to ensure both parties are on the same page, plus open communication channels give your client an opportunity to ask questions about the process and voice their needs. Giving your clients this space will show that you genuinely care about their concerns as well as their goals for the project.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, homeowners expect an elevated level of customer service. With marketing and business management software such as that on Houzz Pro, you’re able to share a dashboard with clients, meaning they can access the full communication history, read daily logs and follow along with the shared project timeline, at their own convenience.
2. Be transparent
Transparency has always been an important part of building trust in relationships, but when large sums of money are involved, it’s even more vital. Talking about budgets with clients can sometimes be challenging, but it’s important to discuss this early on and be upfront about all costs involved.
With professional-looking financial documents, both parties know exactly what to expect, plus the financial clarity that comes from clear estimates and invoices greatly enhances the homeowners' experience. Your client will appreciate the effort you put into offering a simple and easy-to-understand financial picture of the project.
3. Set proper expectations
Delivering on what you promise will be vital to a satisfactory outcome for the project and a happy client at the end of it, but to be able to do this you must set clear expectations from the outset. Professionals on Houzz advise being honest with a client if you think their budget or timeline expectations are unrealistic – if you’re unclear from the start this can cause upset later on down the line.
By providing detailed estimates which show exactly where money is being spent and an up-to-date project timeline, homeowners will feel like they are involved in the project and better understand the process.
4. Be available but respect each other’s time
Being available for your clients shows them you value them, but it doesn’t mean you are expected to drop everything the moment they reach out to you. You and your client are both busy, so being respectful of each other’s time will go a long way to building a trusting relationship.
On your side, this means not cancelling or rescheduling last minute, keeping to the allotted time for meetings or calls and ensuring all contractors get to the project on time each day.
One way of letting your client know when you are available is to share the personalised booking link within Houzz Pro. When connected to your calendar, this will show the homeowner your availability, and make it easy to book a time to speak. You will also both receive confirmation emails, an event on your calendars, and it’s easy for either party to reschedule.
5. Surpass their expectations
Developing a reputation as a professional who always delivers exceptional customer service and results is one of the best ways to build strong relationships with clients. This doesn’t mean overselling your services or promising unrealistic results, but instead setting clear and achievable expectations which you are able to deliver efficiently. Going above and beyond their expectations, being proactive and adding extra value to the service you are providing will solidify your integrity and commitment to the project.