Clients are the life-blood of any architecture or design practice. Knowing what they think, feel and say about you is integral to your business’ success. The easiest way to find this out? Have someone ask them in a thoughtful and respectful way.
Having an independent third-party ask your clients what they think will help you understand their needs and deliver them a better experience. This will give your valuable clients confidentiality and comfort – meaning, they will say what they really think.
As an architect or designer, you are in the business of providing a service and it’s important that you are constantly increasing your value. But without understanding your client’s needs you won’t be able to achieve that. Many practices assume they are already perfectly catering to their client’s needs, but – I hate to break it to you – it’s probably not true.
To continue being successful in business, not only do you have to know what your client needs today, but also what they will need tomorrow. Without having an idea of how things could change in the future, your business won’t be able to adapt quickly enough to keep up. It’s vital that you remain one step ahead and change with market demands.
At this point, it may seem easier to just survey your clients. However, it’s not that black and white. People communicate through stories and surveys don’t capture stories. Instead, they reduce people to numbers on a page and your clients will feel like they have been too. The emphasis must be on making your clients feel as though their feedback is valued, so listening and capturing their experience (and their stories!) will always work best.
There’s a long list of insights you can get from client feedback. For example, why they choose you or don’t choose you over your competitors; and understanding the true value of your brand. But most importantly, it’s about showing your clients they are the most valued part of your business. After all, clients will determine whether your business will fail or succeed.
Lindy Johnson Creative regularly conducts client research to help architects and designers connect with their clients’ needs.