Reframing Your Marketing as CX Design

by Sara Lum

Sara is a licensed architect turned marketer and the founder of Palette Creative Co.

After listening to a speaker recently, I was inspired to share a few thoughts about CX design. The speaker, Matt Jensen, owns a company that provides marketing services primarily to the medical industry. When he started in his sector, marketing medical services was considered passe or taboo.

The architecture industry has similar attitudes toward marketing and sales. It can feel self-promotional and fake, and we can be guilty of wearing opposition to marketing and sales as a badge of honor. Sound familiar?

If you struggle with the idea of marketing your services, consider reframing how you think about your marketing as customer experience design. CX design requires a similar mindset to your work as an architect designing buildings that create a positive user experience and meet clients’ needs. Considering your customer’s experience with your business is an alternative approach to thinking about marketing and selling your architectural services.

According to the Interaction Design Foundation, Customer experience (CX) design is the process design teams follow to optimize customer experiences at all touchpoints before, during, and after conversion. They leverage customer-centered strategies to delight customers at each step of the conversion journey and nurture strong customer-brand relationships.

Consider the following hypothetical questions:

  • What is a potential client’s experience from their first interaction with your company to the moment they decide to hire you, even if they are hiring you based on a proposal.
  • What is your client onboarding process? Is it a positive experience for your client?
  • Are you connecting with your client throughout the design and construction process? Do you know how they are feeling? Are you addressing issues and miscommunication before the end?

three ways you improve your customer’s experience today: 

Here are a few simple ideas:

  1. Offer your clients value before you ever ask them to hire you. You can do this through the content you share via newsletters, social media, and your in-person interactions.
  2. Create a client onboarding process. More information on this can be found here.
  3. Develop a simple process for checking in with clients about how things are going during the design and construction process. This is more than your typical bi-weekly owner meeting. This is a fairly unexplored opportunity for architects to identify and address issues throughout a project.

One final thought. It doesn’t matter how good your social media, ads, website, and proposals are if you are unable to deliver a customer experience that leaves your client feeling satisfied.

I have been reflecting on this as I develop content, services, and tools to help architects with their marketing. Operations and customer experience are the foundations of marketing. It doesn’t matter if your phone is ringing off the hook if you don’t have a way to service clients that turns them into raving fans.

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