What Makes A Good Designer-Client Relationship
April 15, 2014 by 0 Comments|
Having a great client-designer relationship is not easy. That’s why when I tell people that I enjoy doing client projects, their reaction either beams shock or sympathy, thinking I am a complete idiot or just delusional.
For someone who belongs in the creative design sector, I am on the side of business who needs client services to increase agency revenues. And lest we forget that without these projects or clients, my agency won’t last and thrive.
Truth be told, client work or project is not heavenly. Such has a reputation for being tedious, perplexing and stressful and your client may often come too demanding and difficult.
Or, there’s also the big rumor about designers and design studios to deal with – that, they enter your lives, bring out a design mock up, bill you a huge fee and then execute its own creative vision.
Of course there’s a positive side in all these client-designer relationship. On the bright side of things, any client work can bring out meaningful projects and definitely without being stressful but worth the time and effort.
While we may have our views and strong opinions on things, I must admit that it is from clients were we receive many invaluable tips, design ideas and trend information that we love dearly. Call it luck, but perhaps it’s more about learning the art of listening to our clients’ needs that produce award-winning results.
Here we’ll discuss the need for a great client-designer experience and what makes a truly amazing relationship work.
Why Good Relationship with Client is Important
Remember the site, Clients from Hell? It’s a platform that culls anonymous designers’ stories of their hellish affair and experience with clients. You’ll get a pretty big picture what a designer or design agency like our deal with most of our waking hours.
I don’t know if I am just lucky that I haven’t met these awful and evil clients that some colleagues and friends in the industry have encountered. In my case, my clients are not only smart and kind, but most are open to ideas.
But I guess, it’s not only that great clients seem to find me or my agency without fluke. Establishing a really exciting and happy client relationship may have done the tricks for me, especially when working with client services.
So why is this important, better yet, why your relationship with your client should be amazing in and out? Here are a couple of examples.
Collaboration. Ideally, when both you and your client are willing to share ideas and take risks, that’s a pretty big deal. And oh man, the collaboration brought about by your designer-client partnership can draw pretty big difference.
The collaboration might begin with the basic items like choosing which colors to use for the logotype or what typefaces. When at first your client didn’t appear thrilled or excited with your choices, fighting or arguing your client is not the immediate action to do. So perhaps you can offer some guidance and see what happens.
Win-Win. As a designer or design agency, you’re looking to earn some cash from client projects in order to pay the rent, salary and sustain your operation. Your client, on the other hand, is looking for the perfect match to their needs, perhaps an affordable yet quality designer.
Clients always pin hopes their investment to a quality designer can bring their expected financial outcome. Thus, no one would enter into a client-designer relationship and expect for the worst result, right?
The bottom-line is to always make sure your client is truly engaged because they will return the favor. Don’t deride client for being ignorant because perhaps they only need to be educated. To avoid distrust, desire for openness. In the end, you will see your project’s running more smoothly when your relationship is harmonious and solid.
Qualities of Good Client-Designer Relationship
There’s a Good Communication.
Communication is vital in any relationship, no exemptions! If you’re a designer, expect your work to be comprised of fifty-percent and more. So you better enjoy communicating with your clients so you’re client services would succeed.
Since most troubles stem from miscommunication and misunderstanding, your role is to communicate in the best way possible how your participation in the client services might work. Learn how to communicate your ideas and the particulars of your design decisions verbally or in writing, or even visually. Guide your client to understand that knowing these things are important for your relationship to prosper.
As a designer, you need to have an open mind and accept the fact that you don’t have a monopoly of talents, skills and ideas. On the other hand, make you’re your client understand the implication or risks of their suggestions and recommendations to the overall result of your project. By giving your client the chance to weigh in on themselves the consequences of an agreement will be more than enough to ensure your relationship to succeed.
There’s Trust and Confidence.
When clients and designers trust one another, it is easy to predict that success will just fall neatly in their right places. Here’s a client of ours who first balked at our color combination choices but their opinion later changed when they saw the final output. This is an example of trust finally paying off.
Being flexible can take you places and save yourself – whether you’re the designer or the client – tons of frustrations and dismays. It’s true that it’s painful to see a project discontinued or discarded just because your client’s budget department didn’t approved of your proposal. But come to think of it, that’s just not the only project you can both work together with, right? So get over it and be able to bounce back as quickly as you possibly can.
Dealing with client projects as a designer is tough and pretty daunting. But that also applies to being a client, right? Both of you need to work together and with yourselves having different set of orientation and background, there’s definitely some difficulties that you’ll both encounter.
If you want to address the challenges of enriching client-designer relationship, just remember why you’re doing the project together in the first place. Both of you started very enthusiastic and excited like newly-wed couples, isn’t it? Don’t let troubles get in the way to destroy your partnership. Always remember the lessons I shared in this blog and use them to keep a long lasting partnership
Have you encountered client-designer relationship issues yourself? What steps did you take to solve them?