The success of a design doesn’t depend only on the design itself; it also depends on the interaction of the designer with the clients. Technically, it’s very challenging to handle a client who is sensitive to design in terms of professionalism, skill, and taste.
Sometimes, communicating properly with clients becomes very challenging when the client is very demanding and adamant to the words. Even the expert finds it difficult to handle some clients. So, as a designer, you should always be prepared to handle all types of customers.
It’s very crucial to handle clients carefully to keep their requirements feasible, and both parties are satisfied with accomplishing the design project. A designer can follow the below suggestions to manage the clients efficiently.
A designer should be confident while dealing with clients to discuss what is required to create the best possible design to meet clients’ expectations. You should be open about what you need and let feel the client free too to provide all the resources to the successful completion of the project. Your confidence will make the clients rely on you and dishearten them to challenge you.
A good proposal can convince clients easily and build trust in your ability, which will eventually help you to accomplish your job perfectly. The proposal should be detail-oriented about pricing, working procedure, deadline, etc. Everything in the project should be transparent and straightforward so that clients can get a clear picture of your capability and feel comfortable about the job.
Define Specific Scope of Work
Prepare a scope document about the scope of work as a part of the agreement, mention what will and won’t be done as per agreement. If the clients need something beyond the scope document and you are agreed, include it in the scope doc. It will make both parties clear about the project scope and will avoid any future disputes.
Asking questions is the best practice to get a clear idea of the project and avoid confusion. If there is any hesitation, even a silly issue, ask the client to explain, most of the time it becomes effective. Also, clients appreciated this effort and pleased to know that they are the priority. It works like the more you ask, the more you learn.
Select the communication tool that best fits the purpose for both of you and the client and adhere to it. There are many communication tools available such as Zoom, Skype, Slack, WhatsApp, email, etc. You can even set up a booking system on your site to organize your schedule better so that you won’t end up with meeting overlapping one over the other.
Pick anything you feel comfortable with. You don’t need to share a personal contact number until or unless it is required. It is better to use a particular communication tool with all the clients so that it can be shared in business cards or websites.
Some clients are likely to change their requirements frequently and forget what said earlier, which creates difficulties for designers to stick to the plan. It is better to do a written agreement mentioning all the related issues and probable solutions and putting a boundary of the client’s expectations so that it cannot be changed in the future. A copy of the agreement should also be shared with the client to avoid any future issues.
Remember, you’re the expert
Clients usually pay designers for the skill of creating an innovative and impressive end product. In the meantime, they are also paying for the expertise as a designer.
Whenever clients explain the requirements of the design to you, provide the professional perspective you have as a designer on the design project. Also, guide the clients in the area where they are not experts. For example, if they want to use the Amazon font on their branding work, just explain them why that would be a bad thing and also to consider the downsized of that.
Explain the importance of your perspective to the design and advise revision in the project to meet the purpose. It will make the client more reliable on your developed design.
Do not Force Your Idea
After explaining your perspective and its importance on the design, if clients do not accept it, do not force them, just agree to their requirement. When clients are adamant about their decision, it is better to focus on completing the project according to their expectations. After all, payments are made by clients; their decision should be honored.
Stand by the work
Naturally, a designer, when doesn’t feel confident in the design, tries to make excuses, which results in an unwanted weakness in the designer-client relationship. This situation affects clients’ trust in designers’ capabilities and eventually can close the project. So, designers should be confident in their work whatever it happens, which increases clients’ reliability on the designers’ skills. Sometimes, clients may love the ideas on which designers have weaknesses.
Set an Appropriate Deadline and share with Clients
Plan your time efficiently and set a suitable deadline for the project and share it with the clients. It will make the clients feel comfortable, and they will be aware of when the job will be done. Also, put the best effort to complete the project prior to the deadline so that there is enough time to review the job before it is due.
Learn to say No when necessary
No one is a superhero, and it is not possible to manage the clients all the time. When clients demand something beyond your capacity, simply say no. Before accepting a project, be sure that it’s within your ability and can be delivered as per clients’ requirements.
Though it is tough to turn down a project, you have to do so when clients demand some extra that you cannot meet. It may make clients feel unhappy for the time being, yet it will be appreciated in the long run.
Be Prepared before Meeting Clients
When a meeting is fixed by clients, make sure you’re prepared enough to join that meeting. You can seek some time for doing some studies on the meeting contents.
Since you need to discuss with clients about the job, do some researches so that your expertise is reflected. It will give a good feel to clients about they are being at good hands. Clients’ trust can be achieved faster if you are prepared with perceptive information and queries before each meeting.
Absorb Criticism Professionally
Usually, designers are very possessive about their work and cannot take any criticism lightly. But, it should not be forgotten that designs are made for clients, not for the designer’s own contentment. So, if clients are unhappy with your draft work, do not get frustrated; instead, seek their advice to improve it as per their expectations.
Put Emphasis on Result avoid Blame Game
There will be issues between clients and designers, but it shouldn’t be nursed long to create more complications. Instead of blaming one another, they should focus on sorting out problems.
Be Honest with Yourself
Sometimes, designers cannot feel comfortable with a few clients due to personality conflict. In that case, find someone else to maintain the client-designer relationship. Even try to handover the business to other designers if it requires.
Communication, expectations, and quality delivery are the major factors that impact the client-designer relationship. If you get a tough person as a client, take it as a challenge to make him happy.
Finally, always remember that you are not only a designer but also a human being. If you can manage your clients efficiently, it will be beneficial for both parties.