Ashley Uhl holds a degree in Psychology and has had extensive training in client relations, communications, and sales while working at Dale Carnegie. She is also experienced working with high-end clientele at Morgan Stanley. She is passionate about helping designers serve their clients exceptionally well and craft a high-end customer experience. Ashley believes doing so will lead to higher profit margins and a loyal following. Don’t miss her unique insight!
What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social
- [0:53] Darla’s sweet tooth: cupcakes
- [3:49] Everything gone’s virtual with DPI
- [5:32] Ashley Uhl: Deliver an exceptional client experience
- [6:30] Pivoting with client experience: setting expectations
- [10:06] How to communicate with your clients
- [17:42] Make the client journey a seamless process
- [22:47] Ideas for packages and service offerings
- [26:36] Could we see a Summer boom?
- [29:27] Tech tools for business management
- [32:05] Why luxury is out the window
- [32:45] What up Wingnut! Round
- [39:44] Blooper Reel!
Connect with Ashley Uhl
Resources & People Mentioned
- Kelly Campbell’s Wingnut Social Episode
- Michelle William’s Wingnut Social Episode
- BOOK: How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Article: Beautiful Modern Furniture
- The Jeri Cerutti
- COVID Toes
- Mydoma Studio
- G Suite
- Scarlet Thread Consulting
Cultivate an exceptional client experience
For most designers who serve high-end clientele, luxury has gone out the window. “Shelter at home” makes delivering exceptional service trickier, but manageable. Your goal should be to make this a seamless transition for your clients while being open and honest. Ashley recommends making things low-stress and avoiding challenges.
She shares an example: If your client isn’t familiar with Zoom, make a simple video explaining how to use it and send it ahead of your first virtual meeting. You can also inform your clients of any changes being made by calling them and letting them know you’ll send them a recap email with important things to note from your conversation.
Above all, give your clients options. Everyone has different familiarity and comfort levels for any given task. One client may be perfectly fine re-measuring something for you, others may prefer to wait until you can do the work yourself. Ask what their preference is, communicate timelines clearly, and be flexible and compassionate.
As Ashley puts it, you want to deliver “the kind of experience that your clients really want and need in a sympathetic and empathetic way in that moment.”
Understanding the client journey
Because almost everything designers are doing right now is virtual, you need to evaluate the client journey. What does the process look like from seeing a social media post to navigating to your website, to a design consultation? Map out the journey they take and make small edits in the process.
Perhaps you’ve slightly shifted your working hours. Maybe you’ve made more lines of communication available. Perhaps you’re offering different pricing or packages. Communicate what the design consultation and purchasing process will look like.
The goal is to make the process as smooth as possible for a potential new client and be consistent with your messaging. Give yourself a framework to stick with—for now—and allow flexibility to alter things once the world transitions back into normalcy.
In the rest of the episode, Ashley shares some of the tech tools she embraces for virtual communication. She also talks about some innovative services or package ideas you can offer virtually to sustain your business. Check it out!
Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social
- On Facebook
- On Twitter: @WingnutSocial
- On Instagram: @WingnutSocial
- Darla’s Interior Design Website
- Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group!
- 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs)
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