Your interior designers are important. And not just because they understand what you offer and what sets you apart. They can best tell your brand story as part of the personalized and immersive experience they offer to your customers. Maybe you’re making use of your interior designers. But there are more opportunities to leverage their skills and knowledge to support store sales. It takes some creative re-imagining. And a willingness to push the boundaries and rethink the value of your interior design staff.
Idea & Concept: Create a Vision
Your interior design team already has the skills and expertise to help you sell to your clients, but not in the traditional sense. Your interior design team can help your customers (and even your other staff members) envision what is possible. If the customer can dream it, your interior design staff person can take that vision and make it a reality. Here are just a few quick-and-easy ways your interior design team can show a dream vision. And then turn it into tangible designs for implementation.
Connect with the customer.
Your interior designer may be the best person to really connect with the customer. Why? Because they can hone in on who the customer is and what he or she is looking for.
Define the problem.
Why is the customer looking for furniture, and how can the interior design specialist help him or her find the solution?
Talk it out.
For designers, it can be just as important to understand what the customer does NOT want. Talk about colors, themes, design style, and the process.
Of course, you may have the perfect solution already set-up in your store. But don’t let that limit the design process or consultation. Point to your prepared portfolio with examples of home, office and commercial design solutions.
Always remember, though, your interior designers are salespersons who can support store sales. Proceed with caution, and be prepared for how your team will respond to the change.
Encourage Social Sharing to Sell
It’s important for your interior design team to connect with your customers with a personalized one-on-one consultation, but there are restrictions on time and resources. You’ll try to reach every customer, but they may be restricted on time or they may feel shy about discussing their specific needs. But you can make it easy for your team and for customers to share the solutions you’ve offered both online and via word-of-mouth. Here’s how you and your interior design team can optimize your in-store and online experience to encourage social sharing.
- Become a Social Media Brand Icon.
You don’t need to spend every minute of every day on social media to build a presence on social media, but you must be strategic about what and when you post. At MicroD, we offer digital marketing resources to make your brand visible and shareable on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- Engage with Influencers.
When you think of influencers, you probably think of huge celebrities and stars. But don’t forget those influencers who are closer to home. Do you know a local news personality? Or home-grown hero who can share photos and details about their experience at your store on social media? Or, better yet, have you focused on an interior-design focused influencer who can share about what sets your products and services apart?
- You’re the Expert.
Your interior design team can also offer their voices and recommendations to your social media feeds. It can be simple ideas for how to spruce up for the holiday or more targeted examples of how to upgrade your home or office for a change.
We understand the challenges you face in trying to connect the services and expertise you offer. And support store sales with what your customers need. That’s why it’s so important to tap into those strengths that are already impressing your customers. Your interior design team is always there and ready to help, but do your customers know that? Have they seen the portfolio? Is your portfolio easy to share?
Get Personal: Design for Life
Your customers don’t want a genericized solution that just anyone would have. They want to feel like you’ve listened to what they want and need. They need to see solutions that feel right for their personal situation: with kids, pets, hobbies, and personal interests. Of course, you can’t put everything into your store, but you can offer the interactive shopping experience they need.
- Interior Design Discussion.
The first step is still to consult with your customers about what they want and need, but then, it doesn’t have to be limited to the furniture you have on display.
- Leverage Product Visualization.
Based on what you’ve learned with discussions about interior design and your customer’s needs, you can support the next level of engagement with OmniVueXR in-store visualization.
- Integrated & Streamlined Solutions.
It has to be fast and easy. You can’t afford to drag out the process too long, because your customers will just go somewhere else. You must offer a personalized solution that just makes sense to them.
- Unique Services. You’re offering a level of support and customer services that your customer will not find just anywhere. Your products and services are unique because of the time, energy, and special care you take to make sure your customer is heard and understood. You tap into their needs and wants. You’ve discussed their specific problems (why they’re here). And you’ve offered quick, easy-to-understand, and tangible solutions to meet their needs. You’ve listened, and you are working to deliver what they need. That’s no small feat.
It’s true that you may not have the exactly perfect solution that a customer needs in your store right at this moment. Instead of trying to persuade your customer to buy what you have, you have the opportunity to leverage the tools at your disposal (your interior design specialist, as well as product visualization) to make sure that they find a solution that they will absolutely love. Don’t discount that. It’s important.
Interior Design: It’s Part of the Process
As your interior designers start stepping into the limelight and taking a more active consulting role in your store, give them tools and resources to help them be even more effective.
- Spotlight on Your Interior Design Team.
It may seem radical to focus so much time and website real estate on your design crew, but you’ll see that it will spark interest, and get your customers to imagine new ways of integrating your furniture into their own homes and spaces.
- Step it up. Make it Part of the Furniture-Buying Process.
Include the interior design step as part of the furniture purchasing process on your blog, product pages, brochures, and other collateral material.
- Focus on True Stories & Testimonials.
Carefully consider how your stories about interior design and local success can support your overall strategy. By posting and encouraging the sharing of interior design stories, you’re adding pizzazz and even SEO juice that will allow other local customers to find you, get excited, and also use your interior design services.
Make it clear that your interior designers are a big part of what sets you apart as a company, but also let your customers know how much you value your interior design team.
Technological Innovation to Support Store Sales
Technology can also offer you further tools to help you and your interior design team to take your design services to the next level. At MicroD, we make it easy to tap into high-tech solutions to the challenges that you and your interior design team is facing in your store. These are just a few of the myriad of technically advanced solutions that you can start using in your store and on your website right away. It’s easy.
- Touchable Tech.
Use the in-store tablet or multitouch table to create an immersive and interactive experience that allows your customers to drive their own buyer’s journey. Advanced Retail Product visualization is just one way to enhance the buying experience, both online and in your store to support store sales.
- Pair Technology with Expertise.
It’s not a one-solution-for-all scenario. Some of your customers will prefer a self-directed experience, while others want a knowledgeable interior designer. So, prepare for both scenarios. Offer the touch tablet or immersive touch table, but also make sure your interior design staff is available for a consultation. Your customers need to know that they have access to a real person, so they can immediately get their questions answered.
- Tech Brand.
By offering multiple technical solutions to your customers, you’re supporting an important brand-profile ideal. Your customers are already familiar with technical innovation, and they’ve come to expect it from every part of your business. If you aren’t offering the technical solutions your customers need where and when they need it, you’re missing out on opportunities.
By the time your customers come into your store, they’ve done their research. And they know what they want. So, they are just coming into the store to make the final purchase. What you’re offering is a level of exemplary service and support. With a wow factor that will make it clear to them that they have no other choice but to buy from you.
Next Step: The Solutions Your Customers Need
It’s not always easy to change the way you’ve always done sales. Even if it will mean greater success and conversions. When you start tapping into the power and knowledge of your interior design team, you’ll quickly see that you have been under-utilizing their skills and talents.
- Rethink the Needs of Customers
You’ve been offering design consultations and design services to your specific customers who asked for a designer. But have you considered how your design team could become a more integrated and integral part of your sales and marketing team?
- Offer What Customers Need
Beyond a few small changes, your optimization of the workforce allows you to meet the needs and requirements of all your customers. It may be a radical concept. But by rethinking your relationship and level of service to all your customers, you will continue to reap the rewards.
At MicroD, we offer the products and services you need to support the development of your interior design team. Ultimately, we know that your interior design team can support store sales. And we’ll work to help you see the level of success you’re looking to achieve. We offer everything from product visualization, website solutions, digital marketing solutions, and 3D room planning. Our focus is on the home furnishings’ industry, so we take our carefully honed level of knowledge and experience, and we put it to work for you. Contact us today to learn more about ways you can start putting your industrial designers to work for you.