Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If you want your interior design business to be future-proof, you need to embrace digital transformation by experimenting with new technologies and rethinking your standard practices.
Digital transformation is an evolution of three areas of a business: customer experience, operational processes and business models. As far as customer experience goes, using technology can help fuel customer growth and customer understanding while creating more touchpoints with them.
For interior designers, digital transformation impacts the standard practice of business development and lead generation. Interior design is an industry where new business opportunities come through personal connections and word-of-mouth referrals. It is a consolidated practice in the industry, but recently there has been a shift.
Thanks to the high demand for virtual design consultations and the power of social media, designers are now being discovered online. Personal connections are still crucial in getting new interior projects. But digital branding can help you not only to establish authority and credibility but also generate qualified leads and new business.
This new reality represents new opportunities and challenges. For example, if before you could easily trace where the referral originated and who the testimonial was, now you need to intentionally map out your clients’ online journey from the moment they discover you until they convert into clients.
To remain competitive in the industry, you want to invest in technology to create a great customer experience during the journey through multiple channels of communication and touchpoints (like social media, email and live chat).
Why you should map out your clients’ online journeys
Your client’s online journey is the path a person takes from awareness to consideration and conversion. It is the steps that someone takes that transform them from a lead into a paying client.
As a business owner, you want to map out the path of your clients. Part of this path is the sales funnel. Word of mouth is not reliable or scalable. But you have control over the funnel map because it is intentional. Funnel mapping is a flow diagram of actions you encourage visitors of your website to take with a specific goal in mind.
The goal of mapping your customer’s journey is to guide your targeted clients from beginning to end more efficiently and effectively. You want to understand how they discover and learn about your business, what catches their attention, why and when they decide to buy. You should be able to visualize and understand what your potential customers are thinking and doing at each stage of the purchasing journey.
Knowing what they are thinking provides you with valuable information for decision-making in things like which marketing activities to invest in, what relevant messages create at each stage and information about traffic sources.
All these initiatives are part of a bigger plan: the ever-evolving process of digital transformation of your design firm.
Using technology helps you find inspiration, collect ideas for future interior design projects, and run your business more efficiently. Technology provides innovative ways to market your design business and reach more leads than ever.