Reduce Friction: 5 Ways To Streamline Architecture Firm Operations

February 26, 2023

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

“What’re you doing?” my wife asked me.

”Decided I don’t need them.” I replied.

”But you’ve been talking about it all morning.” She said, confused.

”I walked in but there was like 20 people in line. I didn’t want to wait.” I explained.

“I’m sure it’ll take less than 30 minutes.” She said.

”I’m just not feeling it anymore. Maybe we can pick some up at the grocery store.” I said.

I have a wee-bit of a sweet tooth and there’s one donut shop in particular that I love. The donuts are far too expensive to be a regular outing ($4/donut seems like a bit much, right?) but they are insanely delicious.

I had been dreaming about donuts all morning. I knew exactly which donuts (yes, plural) I was going to choose. And I could already see myself taking a bite before getting back into the car. It was going to be SO GOOD!

But then something changed. I opened the door and there was a long line staring at me.

Immediately, I began questioning my decision and negotiating with myself.

  • Do I want donuts? Yes.

  • Do I need them? Well, I am pretty hungry.

  • Do I want to stand in line for 30 minutes? No.

  • Can I just get donuts from somewhere else? Probably.

Twenty seconds after walking in the door, I’m already walking out.

Hello, Friction!

So what happened?

For better or worse, we live in a world of instant gratification. We like to have things RIGHT NOW. We don’t want it to be complicated. We don’t want to wait.

We hate friction.

Friction gets in our way. It slows us down. It makes us hesitant. It makes us negotiable.

So what does this have to do with attracting high-quality clients?

Every bit of friction is an opportunity for a current or prospective client to change their mind about something. And 90% of the time, that change does not work in your favor.

You might lose a contract.

Or delay progress.

Or deter a promising prospect.

Or disrupt an otherwise solid client relationship.

But here’s the good news: removing friction is also extremely powerful.

It can help to increase conversion rates, improve client experience, and bring stability to your pipeline and growth.

Goodbye, Friction!

So how do you reduce or remove friction?

  1. Identify every point of communication or conversion in your sales process and client experience.

  2. Breakdown the current steps required to convert or communicate.

  3. Consider how those steps can be consolidated or simplified.

Here’s 5 examples to get you started:

01 // Booking a meeting

  • Friction: Prospective clients need to click “Contact”, fill out a form, wait for a reply, and respond to multiple emails prior to booking a meeting.

  • Frictionless: Prospective clients click a strong CTA and go directly to a digital calendar where they can book a meeting. (Yes, I just wrote about this last week - sorry, I’m shameless 😂)

02 // Receiving a Retainer

  • Friction: Client signs a proposal/contract, architect sends an invoice for a retainer, client sends a check, and architect deposits check before beginning work.

  • Frictionless: Architect includes a payment link in the proposal that allows the client to sign and pay all at once so their project can begin promptly.

03 // Providing Feedback

  • Friction: Clients have feedback about their experience but choose not to share it because they are unsure of the best way to do it. As a result, they grow increasingly frustrated and become unhappy with their architect.

  • Frictionless: The architect makes it easy to provide feedback by sharing a feedback form during onboarding that the client can use at anytime. (But also, the architect has a policy in place to ask for feedback during every client meeting.)

04 // Capturing Testimonials

  • Friction: The project is complete and the client is very happy. The architect shakes their hand and then reaches out 6 months later for a testimonial. The client doesn’t respond.

  • Frictionless: The architect sends a short survey at the middle and end of the project that is easily distributed and implemented as a testimonial.

05 // Creating Advocates

  • Friction: A former client wants to refer their architect to a friend but the architect rarely responds to emails, picks up their phone, or engages on social media. As a result, the referral never happens.

  • Frictionless: A former client has the option to forward the firm’s newsletter, introduce via email, share the architect’s phone number, or connect the friend on social media in order to get the conversation started.


Friction presents opportunities for current and prospective clients to hesitate and negotiate with themselves, often resulting in outcomes that are less desirable for the architect.

To reduce friction, consider points of conversion or communication that can be consolidated into simpler forms.

Also…eat more donuts 🍩

Reply and let me know what you think!

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