Kitchen & Bath Design News

NOV 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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potential client are a good fit. "I get to know my clients by first having a long initial phone conversation with them," she explains. "I ask questions like where they live, how long they have lived there, how long they plan to stay, what they do for a living, what their expec- tations are of the project. I talk to them about the scope of work they want, timelines and if they have set aside a certain budget." Only after she has developed an initial understanding of the clients' needs and made sure they are familiar with her work does Stephenson schedule an in- home appointment. The first in-home ap- pointment is all about ob- servation and is a good deal more granular than the initial conversation, Stephenson says. "I ask questions about their family, like who lives in the home, their ages, how many children, does anyone have any special needs? I ask what their typical schedules are like, who does most of the cooking. I open cabinets, closets and pantries to look inside. I also look inside the refrigerator to see what types of foods they eat. I ask how tall each family member is and whether they are right or left handed. I ask detailed questions about their morning routines, how they like to apply their makeup, and if the couples shower together." With the parents' permission, Stephenson will even interview children about their wants and needs for the space. CUTTING-EDGE TECH Stephenson's work with younger clients in particular has enabled her to utilize innovative new technology in order to enhance her custom- ers' experience. "It is easy for me to share technology with [younger clients], such as 360 panoramas to show off their designs," she says. Another favorite technological advance- ment is the walk-thru feature in Chief Architect's design software. "I provide my clients and even my contractors with a VR headset so that they are able to see the designs in virtual reality," says Stephenson. "I can send all parties involved a link so that they can view this technology on their phones, tablets or comput- ers." She adds, "Clients have told me that they will pay extra to get the true 'Designs by Ebony Experience.'" Additionally, Stephenson's willingness to embrace new technology has helped her streamline her growing business. According to Stephenson, she utilizes "con- venient online invoicing and cloud-based storage so that my clients and contractors have on-the-go access to all their files and floor plans." ▪ November 2018 • 25 Circle No. 16 on Product Card

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