Are You Handling Your Clients Correctly? - Digital Polo, Inc. - World's #1 Graphic Design Company!

Are You Handling Your Clients Correctly?

If you are a web designer or a graphic designer, you would know exactly how it feels to be dealing with the clients. While some clients are happy with what you provide, some clients always come up with a couple of suggestions.

A phone call that starts to discuss a few points ends after about one and a half hours with tons of changes. Right when you are ready to leave the office for the weekend, your client asks you to change the layout of the website design that you have been creating throughout the week. As if that wasn’t enough, the client is asking to make all the changes within the budget.

What will be your reaction? Okay, don’t answer that question. But instead of pulling your hairs out, let’s find out how you can deal with this type of clients. Here are a few tips that you can try out.

Connect with them:

The first step to handling the complaining and demanding clients is to establish a connection with them. The more you connect with these clients, the better you will know what they are looking for and the more you will be able to deliver designs that are to the point. How would you connect with your clients?  The first step to satisfy your customers is to understand what they are looking for. So, your duty is to find out why your client wants to include certain phrases in the design. Or why the client wants to follow grid design for the website?

To make things easy for you, do not start arguing right when the client starts describing his/her requirements. Even if you understand that certain requirements cannot be fulfilled within the budget, let the client finish what he/she is saying. Rather, you can add some questions to better understand the necessities. I realize that this seems time consuming for you and yes, it is. But the rest of the process becomes much smoother if the base is strong, right? Now that you know what your client wants, let’s move on to the next step.

Present your own idea:

Someone who is not from design background may come up with bizarre ideas. Obviously, you can’t follow those. So, you have to present your own idea. But you have to be careful about how to present the idea so that you don’t offend your client. If you have been doubtful about the first step, which was to listen carefully to what the client has to say, now you will realize the importance of it.

You can present your idea in a better way only if you understand what your clients want. Don’t try and present an idea that is not at all linked with what the client has pressed for. Here are a few things that you can do when you are trying to convince a client about the idea that you are going to present:

  • Be sensitive: When someone comes up with a design requirement, their ideas are mostly driven by emotion. Most of your clients won’t know or even want to know the logical explanation of designing. They will want a website or a brochure that will speak of who they are. Hence, when you present your idea to them, it is extremely necessary that you be sensitive towards their views. If you think that your idea is going to oppose what the client has presented, you can use some famous examples to grab their attention. Suppose you like the simplistic grid-styled website design that Apple follows and you want to recommend the same to your client. Instead of making them understand why this is a good idea, you can just state that the style is used by the famous brand and is working pretty well.

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  • Find solution to their problems: Why do you think that the client of yours comes up with one after other requirements? Well, there is not any specific answer to this question. The client may think that the design is boring. He/she may not like the idea of scrolling too much. Or he may want to use some other color palette. No matter what, you are the one who is responsible for finding the solution of the problems that the client is facing with the design. If the design seems boring, add some moving elements. Similarly, if the color palette seems too bright, use pastel shades.
  • Do not follow the same design: Being a graphic designer, you must realize that not every type of design is for every type of website. While you can use a lot of vibrant colors for an ecommerce website, you shouldn’t do the same when you are designing a website that deals in mutual funds. And even when you are creating different designs as per the industry and the customer requirements, ensure to offer choices.  Give at least two options to choose from so that the client can see and compare the designs to choose one of those.

Give it your best shot:

I agree that sometimes you feel like bashing the client up for the amount of rework he/she demands from you. However, that will only lead to a worsened relationship because of which the client will leave you. None of us want that, do we? So, what can you do to maintain a healthy relationship? Here are a couple of things that you can try out:

  • As I mentioned before, the first step to impress your client is to understand what they are looking for. Involve your clients in the process of designing the blueprint for how you want to proceed with the design work. Being part of the creation will not only make your clients feel empowered but they will also connect with the design more. As a result you won’t need to make many changes in the future. Besides, co-creating will also make them realize how complex the process of designing is.
  • Most of your clients will not have details knowledge in designing. Hence, you are definitely the one with more expertise in the field. When you know how to make things work, why not be confident about it. Let your clients understand that they are working with experienced designers. However, don’t cross the line of being confident. Don’t underestimate your clients or their visions.

  • What is the best part of being a designer? To me, it is the power to create something from scratch. Use the power that you have to win the client’s heart. Put all your effort and some more to achieve or maybe over-achieve what your client wants to see. Sometimes you may need to go beyond what is expected from you as a designer. And I suggest going for those extra miles in the initial stage. This will make the client realize that you are giving all your efforts to achieve what they want.
  • Sometimes you may fail to make the client realize what they want won’t look good. Some clients are adamant about getting exactly what they want even though it doesn’t go hand in hand with the design they are looking for. In that case, don’t argue with them. Let them be responsible for their decisions. If anything goes wrong, you are not the one to be blamed for it.

Maintain professionalism:

Many a time professionalism is something that we compromise with. I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of maintaining professional attitude. By professional attitude I don’t mean the way you speak to the client (even though that should be professional too). What I mean is to maintain professionalism in all the aspects of your work. Here are the things that will help you maintain that effectiveness in your work:

  • Get the brief right: This is the most important step of any of your projects. If you get the brief right, half of your job is done there. If it means that you need to ask questions to your client, go ahead. Ask questions that are relevant to the project and that will help you in understanding what the client wants from you. If you need to consult any other designer in your team, do that as well. You can use mood-boards to chalk out what you have understood and what you are going to do next. This will ensure that you and your client both are in the same page.

  • Set a point of contact: It is extremely necessary for both you and your client to set a point of contact. In case you have a project manager in your company, that person will be the POC in your case. Similarly, if your client chooses someone that you will be contacting, that person will be the POC on your client’s end.

Why is this necessary? Suppose your project manager has spoken to the client directly about certain requirements. Suddenly the marketer in the company adds some points that were not discussed before. This will only lead to confusion and chaos, which will result in delay of the project delivery date.

  • Keep yourself organized: Each of your clients will have different requirements. It is not possible for you to keep track of each of them in your mind, right? So, it is best that you either use a tool or you employ managers who will be managing the projects. Apart from keeping all the requirements segregated, you also need to make sure that the conversation that you are having with your clients (either over phone or through text messages) needs to be documented.

So, if you are consulting something over phone, make sure to send an email just to get a written confirmation on the changes or specifications that have been discussed. This will not only help you in keeping track of the project but will also allow you to keep a note of the steps that are taken by your clients.

The ultimate way of winning your clients:

Believe it or not, knowing your customers better can actually save you in a lot of ways. I know it is cliché and every other person might be giving the same advice. But when you know why a client behaves in a particular way or what makes a client happy, it becomes much easier for you to deliver the result.

As Digital Polo, the designing agency is in the market for many years, we have handled different types of clients. From small business owners to big enterprises, our growing clientele has taught us a million things. One of those million things that I have learned throughout these years is that there is no cheat-code when it comes to handling clients. Just like each individual client has some characteristics, the approach for each of them will also be unique. Each time you have to decode the behavior of your clients and work accordingly. I provided you with a guide that will make the process easier for you.

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Sushmita Ganguly
Sushmita Ganguly
Sushmita is the Instagram Marketing head at Digital Polo and a great conversationalist. Her expertise lies in building strategic content that helps to make the medium much easier for startup business owners and fellow marketers around the globe.

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