Today we invite you to join us on a trip to meet one of our clients - a curtain and interior design salon of Atelier Lidicka in Prague, Czech Republic.
It is a great joy for us to introduce you to them, as they are one of our first clients, and the story of how they became our clients always brings a smile to our face whenever we share it with someone. But more about this later!
The unexpected role of family business
Atelier Lidicka is a curtain and interior design salon in Prague, Czech Republic. The owner and manager of the shop, Irena Kotalova, has joined the family business without ever knowing that she will be working in the curtain industry! How is that possible? Well let Irena tell you the story for herself:
“When I finished college I already had some experience with working in international corporations and I knew it was not for me. My dad is an architect and he wanted to extend his services so he opened a decorating studio. When I was thinking about my future job opportunities, he invited me to join him. It was a new world for me - full of beautiful things and creativity! I fell in love with decorating, because I could change the interior's atmosphere and make my customers feel happier in their homes.”
It is a great pleasure for us to meet such passionate people, who already know what they want, who find their way, and give their best to achieve it. Therefore we love Irena’s mindset:
“By now I continue and lead the studio my own way. Improving my abilities and services we offer in the studio is my obsession! And how do I recognize I am doing it well? It is when our customers recommend us to their family and friends because they know they can rely on us!”
The beginning of a beautiful friendship
We have received Irena’s request for Curtains Calculator back in late 2019, and have installed it for their use on the first days of the year 2020 (Not everyone started their 2020 on the wrong foot, am I right? Well, at least we thought so...). But this is our side of the story. We also wanted to know how Irena, the owner and manager of Atelier Lidicka has found us, so we asked her. And this was her response:
“When I started with decorating windows I was making the calculations on my own. It took me a lot of time and I often made some mistakes. So did my colleagues. I wanted to save time for client care better than for calculations. And I wanted to save money as well by avoiding mistakes. I was looking for some special and easy application and found Curtains Calculator. I have to say that it was one of the best things I implemented in my business. It saved us a lot of time, money and it increased our credibility.”
We could not have said it better ourselves. These are the words of a loyal customer, and you don’t get them just upon request. Ask any business owner. So this is the story of how we charmed Atelier Lidicka.
The surprising visit
At the beginning of 2020 we were on our way to the Heimtextil the interior design expo in Germany, and since Prague was on our way, we decided to give our new friends a visit, and have a chat in person. Atelier Lidicka is a petite, yet very beautiful and cozy salon full of beautiful, dazzling and vivid fabrics. As soon as we parked at the second to busiest street in Prague, we realized the origin of the name for the salon of Atelier Lidicka.
At the moment of our meeting, it has been a few days since the installation of Curtains Calculator in Atelier Lidicka, and after we asked Irena how did she like the application, she told us that she tried our application only a couple of times. She tried to do some test calculations with orders that have been already done, and noticed that the application is doing miscalculations, and provides different results from the ones done by her employees by hand.
After we ran through the calculations done by Irena’s long term professional staff several times, we noticed that there were some small miscalculations, and that was the reason why the Curtains Calculator showed a different amount for the order, larger by several hundred crowns, than the one done by salon's employee. This is a very common effect called Human Error, and it occurs to all of us.
We, humans, are flawed creatures. We are incredibly smart and creative, however, we lack consistency in our everyday tasks. If you would ask me to quickly draw 5 identical lines with a pencil, I would probably fail, even if I had a ruler. Even at my best performance, the lines would be at least a little bit squiggly, and would not be the perfect length, as I can't see anything smaller than a millimeter. However, if I would dedicate this task to a robot, the lines would be perfect even if I asked it to draw 5000 of them, instead of just five (and it would do it much faster too!).
Irena could not believe her eyes when she saw that the calculations done by her industry’s long-time professional had errors in already closed sales. Later, during some tea time chat, Irena opened up, and told us that she herself has done errors in her calculations, and that was one of the main reasons why she came to us looking for a tool to help make the calculation simpler and faster. We told her, that Human Error occurs to everyone, and it's perfectly normal. And that our product, the Curtains Calculator, is designed to solve this specific problem.
On top of all that, due to fact, that calculations, that would take 65% to 80% of their time, were cut down to a minimum, Irena, together with her employees, could:
- Spend their time on creating beautiful designs;
- Attend every customer that comes into shop, and increase sales by 47%;
- Work on sales strategies and work on marketing campaigns;
- Using the staff performance tool track employee productivity, and work with them on personal level;
- Have more free time for themselves, and relaxation!
We’re working with Atelier Lidicka to this day, and we are happy that not only have we installed the Curtains Calculator in this Prague showroom, but also gave Irena more confidence and courage in running her business, hiring new creative staff, making responsible decisions, serving customers, expanding the range, working with interior designers and most importantly - more time for her children.
We asked Irena how many calculations they’ve done over the year of 2020, and how many of those calculations and orders offered became their paying customers. This is what she replied:
“We did 231 calculations and we have successfully completed 140 orders. But this big difference exists because we often make more than one calculation for one client so that they can decide which option is best for them.”
We’re happy that not only we gave Atelier Lidicka an opportunity to track their sales statistics precisely using Curtains Calculator’s CRM function, but also, due to fact that they can do calculations almost immediately, they can provide the client with several different offers, something that would burden and overload an employee doing calculations using pen and paper. Sure, providing the customer with several price options to choose from is a genius move, but knowing the fact that regular order takes 1 to 3 hours on average to complete, preparing even three different offers would take 3 to 9 hours to complete. And that is just for one customer!
As we are in constant communication with suppliers of fabrics and cornices in Europe, we have learned from our conversation with Irena that she was looking for new suppliers with whom she can cooperate and make orders with their fabrics. Therefore, we were happy to share the contacts of those suppliers with whom we cooperate and are very pleased that Irena successfully sells IFI Design and Colours fabrics and Somfy cornices.
This is one of our many success stories that we wanted to share with you. There’s many more to come, and who knows - maybe You (yes, YOU!) will be the subject of our next success story that will be shared with your future customers.
Would you like to know how to expand your interior design business to its full potential? Sign up HERE for a free demo call, and we can show you how you can unleash your creativity!