7 Basic Quality Service Truths & How They Satisfy Clients
Despite all the talk about quality and quality service, there are 7 basic quality service truths. These truths apply to all services provided by any business.
What are quality service truths? They truths apply to services, whether professional, personal or those delivered by skilled tradespeople.
1. Clients want the outcome not the service itself
Most clients prefer services that are as simple as possible. They also really want to complete their transactions as easily with as few hassles as humanly possible. So, frequently as a second choice, they hire designers to help them.
2. Clients need your service
New clients will usually consider their own resources before selecting a professional. To avoid paying design fees, many people would prefer to find their own purchasers. Unless their initiatives produce immediate results, as a second choice, they will look to design professionals for help. As a professional , you are well positioned to do more for clients than they expect or could even imagine.
3. Providing technical information is not quality service
Clients want more than technical information. They care less about HVAC specs than they do about operating costs and how the system will add to the enjoyment of living in the home.
4. Industry jargon reduces quality service
Similar to truth #3, this one focuses on communication. Communicating with clients involves treading a fine line between using terminology that is too industry-specific on the one hand, and talking down to the client by using language that is too simple on the other hand. This underlines the importance of knowing and listening carefully to each individual client. It's important to know what the client knows now and what she needs to learn in order to make a decision. This enables you to frame your questions and comments so that your clients will understand.
5. Professional certification does not equal quality service
To protect consumers against being ripped off , most states require the licensing of interior designers. To be licensed, it is usually necessary to qualify by studying prescribed courses and passing specific tests.
Qualification to practice does not automatically result in the ability to deliver quality service to clients.
Delivering quality service means meeting clients’ standards of quality, not simply meeting minimal standards of professional competence.
6. Client service is variable
Service cannot be mass produced and stored until it's needed. Also, the same service can vary from one provider to another. The type and quality of service that you provide varies from time to time. Notwithstanding this variability, each client deserves the same standard of service, regardless of what factors may be influencing you.
7. Quality service is what your client says it is
Many businesses post signs with the following rules of client service:
Rule 1: the client is always right
Rule 2: if you think the client is wrong, read rule #1
Trite though the rules may be, they do reflect the reality that clients determine you standards of quality. If your standards of quality coincide with or exceed your clients’ standards, you will be successful. If your standards fail to meet those of your clients, you can’t count on your clients for repeat business or referrals.
By Larry Easto
Image by Frenk And Danielle Kaufmann
A special thank you to Larry Easto for allowing edits to his piece to benefit the interior design community.
This article is an edited version of the original which may be found at http://www.real-estate-marketing-link.info/quality_service_truths.html Larry Easto is a best selling business writer and publisher of http://www.real-estate-marketing-link.info