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business of home
Q&A: How did you overcome a challenging client situation?
May 23, 2017
Staff

Kim Scodro

Sourcing Strain
“Currently, we have a client who feels she needs to see everything. I mean everything. We bring her several fabric and furniture options within her price range and she continually asks to see more, while stating she loves every- thing. By being patient and explaining our process, we finally earned hertrust. Now she accepts that what we have brought her was narrowed down from hours of sourcing to find the best options. This client needed to know we were listening to her needs instead of just pushing our own agenda. There is a fine line between hearing what the client wants and actually designing what we feel works. Our patience paid off in this case, as the client is placing orders for her entire 8,000-square-foot home.” —Kim Scodro, Kim Scodro Interiors

All Sized Up
“We had a client who worried her rooms were too small and that our proposed furniture plans were not going to fit in the spaces. She questioned all of our dimensions and wanted every piece of furniture to be smaller than the next.To set her mind at ease, we made scaled drawings, paper templates and actual mock-ups of the furniture onsite. We continued to pull out the furniture mock-ups until the installation. When the furniture was finally installed, our client was thrilled to see everything looking great, and finally understood and appreciated our vision and expertise.” —Liliane Hart, Liliane Hart Interiors

Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill

Living Large
“Years ago, we were hired to do a house by a strong woman, a powerhouse. The house was two-thirds done with construction. She had been buying light fixtures all along and there was one huge one (54 inches) that was almost as big as the dining table! We tried everything to gether to go with a different lighting choice, but the answer was NO. So we decided to design everything to scale—everything was big. She loved it. From there on out, we learnedthe dance and figured out the key to pleasing our client: Get her so heavily involved and steer her in directions that would lead to [our choices], under the guise of her command.” —Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill, Mitchell Hill

Mark Cutler

Memory Made
“I once had a client who, apparently, had a very bad memory. She would approve things in one meet- ing only to deny ever having seen them in the next. It made progress almost impossible. Eventually, we decided that we would end each client meeting with her holding the samples she just approved, so at the next meeting, we could start with that image and move on. It became a great way to hold her to her word, and it became a visual notebook of the project.”—Mark Cutler, Mark Cutler Design

Joan Craig

He Said, She Said
“A few years ago, we got a call from a couple who seemed like the ideal clients: relaxed, funny, kind and open to ideas. When I arrived at their apart- ment, where they’d lived for 30 years, the first hints of trouble emerged. He described his program for a very cool and sophisticated home, and she didn’t want to change a thing. He wanted everything fresh and new and she couldn’t part with her treasures. Long story short, we recently finished proj- ect No. 2 for this couple and they’re now among our best clients and have become our dear friends. It just took time, patience and many long (and entertaining) meetings. For everything there is a season.”—Joan Craig, Lichten Craig

Peace Offering
“I had a complete construction renovation project where the subcon- tractor did subpar work. The client held me fully responsible and blamed me. I turned the situation around by offering a new subcontractor at my own expense. Long after the paint contractor is gone, I’m the one who’s there, creating their new home or sitting at their dining table with the family. I extended my olive branch and got the situation rectified because at the end of the day those relation- ships are more important.”—Chad James, Chad James Group

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Thank you to our Advertisers

Tss logo 3
2. kravet
3. design within reach logo 2
4. sunbrella
5. universal to the trade
6. americasmartlogo.80
7. j. pocker
8. currey   co
9. incollect logo f 300x154
10. boh survey