Client relationships are difficult to manage. But they are crucial to the success of every business. It is more important when you are a designer dealing directly with the client. It is important to know what your clients are looking for from your designs and to have clear-cut details on the work assigned. So here are 5 simple tips for improving designer – client relationship:
Clarity on the Work Assigned
Clarity is a very important factor to consider for both parties involved. The designer must know clearly what the clients’ expectations are and the client must know what can be accomplished practically. This is made possible only with proper requirement analysis and written agreement upon the finalized requirements by both parties. Entering into a legal agreement will ensure that both the parties involved, the designer and the client, are well aware of the scope of work and other conditions. It also ensures a professional approach towards the entire project. Detailed requirement analysis and prototyping makes sure that the designer and the client are following the same wavelength as far as the project is concerned.
Listen More Than Suggest
The designer will have to listen more to the client’s requirements and expectations. Suggestions can be given but the focus should be more on what the client expects from you. A good listener can create better as they can receive more inputs regarding what is expected. Listening also clarifies any doubt the designer may have about the expectations or requirements. Moreover, the client will feel satisfied that the designer is attentive to the detailing given.
Timely & Effective Communication
Timely communication is a must for improving the designer-client relationship. All communication should be recorded – by mail or letters with acknowledgment. This further ensures that both parties are informed of the developments. Any deviation from the schedule must also be communicated in advance so that the designer and the client have the same level of information regarding the project. Effective communication is when both parties understand what is being communicated.
Flexibility & Adaptability
While the agreement ensures that the requirements are clear and fixed, the designer and the client must always give some space for minor changes that do not affect the overall project completion. Small changes such as the change in font or some unavoidable changes that were overlooked during the requirement analysis can come up at a later stage. While these should be avoided at any cost, the designer should be ready to incorporate the unavoidable changes that will enhance the project. The client must also understand that frequent changes may affect the completion schedule. Even though the project is bound by a legal agreement, there should be scope for flexibility and adaptability on both sides.
Meet the Deadlines
Deadlines are very important for all projects. Unless there is any major change requested by the client, the project should be completed on or before time after all quality checks. The designer and the client may come to terms with the deadlines as per the schedules and both parties should comply with the dates mentioned in it. For requirement analysis and reviews, the client has to ensure that his / her parties provide the details as requested by the designer and the designer must also ensure that his / her part is completed on time.
If the designer and the client have a good rapport with each other, the project will be completed successfully and they can build a longer and better professional relationship.