Designers can end up in sticky customer service situations with their manufacturers and clients if they don’t know how to best address unpleasant issues that arise during a project. Here, Jody Seivert, a training and development coach and consultant, shares her advice on how to ace the customer service experience.
1 | Make “Deposits” Develop a good relationship with companies by making figurative “deposits” into your relationship bank account: Visit showrooms, make purchases and cultivate relationships with sales reps. It is easier to make a “withdrawal,” or call in a favor, when a solid relationship has already been established.
2 | Manage Your Client If a client request would make you unhappy, don’t make that same request to a manufacturer. It is your responsibility to oversee the client’s purchasing needs, and triple-check what you are asking the manufacturer to do.
3 | Have Options Present solutions to both your vendor and clients. Don’t demand or expect them to cover the losses, but it is definitely appropriate to ask.
4 | Be Gracious It may not be your or the client’s fault, but it is always better to be fair and understanding with the manufacturer—especially when they are usually the only entity that can resolve the issue.