How you wrap up your design project is the last thing your clients will remember about working with you. A Design Project Closing Packet can help with that positive, lasting impression.
It’s your last chance to provide a client experience that wows and your final shot to give them something to write home about.
We’ve already covered how a Welcome Guide will help you start your project off on the right foot. Your approach to finishing a project should be similar.
By sending your clients off with a Design Project Closing Packet or Exit Guide, you ensure that all loose ends are tied up and they’re set up to maintain the work you’ve completed together.
Here are 7 things to include in your Exit Guide if you want to keep your clients coming back for more!
We’re talking floor plans, specification packets, paint color guides—anything your client may want to access related to their design project.
Even if they can access these files another way, it’s a nice touch to house them all in one place so it’s easy for your clients to see what they’re working with at a glance.
We know you don’t need the reminder, but colors MATTER.
And you won’t always be around to remind your clients which colors were used on each of their walls.
By including a Paint Color Guide, you eliminate the guesswork of trying to color-match paint in the future.
That way, if your client’s kiddos go to town on their walls with a marker or they find a chip after rearranging furniture, they know exactly which paint color to spring for because they have your guide to reference.
Once again, this is a cherry-on-top type of move.
Taking the time to compile and organize your client’s warranties WILL get you noticed. It’s a show of support that will stick with them because of how thoughtful and practical it is!
As a designer, you’re dealing with form and function in a way that grabs attention and makes a space beautiful but livable.
As a service provider, you’re dealing with people who have very real needs and problems they weren’t aware they needed solutions for.
If you think of your client’s needs in addition to the project itself, you’ll make a name for yourself that goes beyond your signature design aesthetic.
So include those warranties in your closing packet. Give them yet another reason to love you!
Referrals are powerful things. People are much more likely to trust a personal referral (more stats about that here!) than anything they read online!
That said, you should use that tendency to your advantage.
It’s likely that your clients will need to hire help to maintain their spaces so a section on referrals is bound to be helpful. On top of that, it gives you the opportunity to support other business owners in your network.
For example, you could shout out furniture repair specialists, rug stain treatments, stone cleaning & resealing experts, and upholstery cleaning services.
When you look at it from the perspective of helping your network and your clients form more connections, EVERYBODY wins.
Do you struggle with bringing projects to a complete and final close?
If the answer is, “HECK YES!” then this section has your name all over it.
It’s not unheard of for some design projects to drag on and on due to client questions that crop up, even years later…
Throw a segment of Care Instructions in your closing packet and you can nip some of those anxious, urgent exchanges in the bud.
By laying out the details of how to care for a client’s furniture, space, and the materials used in your designs, it’s easier to end a project WITHOUT the added pressure of communicating with a client that just does not know what to do.
Answer as many care questions as you can and add them to the packet to prevent lengthy email exchanges and to offer solutions before a problem is brought to your attention. You’re probably fielding questions left and right from anyone you’ve ever worked with. This move will make your inbox MUCH more manageable.
Ohh, this one’s good!
Our best advice to up your client retention rate?
Make sure they know everything you offer.
Most of the time, clients have the same designer for life! But if they want a small-scale refresh and think you only offer full-service packages, they may end up using someone else.
The most important thing you need to make known is HOW they can work with you NEXT.
Once a project wraps, they have to pay you to keep your working relationship going so don’t be afraid to let ‘em know what the natural next steps are.
That way, any past client can walk back through your door knowing you’ve got EXACTLY what they need.
Social proof can open doors for your business so don’t skip out on asking for feedback. Instead, leave a link or add step-by-step instructions on how your clients can leave a review for you.
It’s as simple as asking for a testimonial that drives some people to do just that. Others might need a little more convincing. (Our hot testimonial tips here!)
Either way, testimonials are a great place to gather social proof and identify areas of your client experience that need improvement. So do your clients—and yourself—a favor by making it ridiculously easy to provide feedback.
If there’s one point we want to drive home, it’s this: Going above and beyond for your clients will set them up for success, motivate them to leave feedback, and up the chances they come back to work with you again. A thorough Project Closing Packet can help make all of that happen.
Walk through your client experience from start to finish to make sure every little thing is in tip-top shape to score you a raving review or a return client.
And, as always, you can email us if you’d rather pass anything client experience-related along to our team.
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