It’s sometimes difficult to build a relationship with clients. Especially when your companies are coming from two different playing fields. Let’s face it—socializing is tough. In the digital world where everything can be done in an email or a phone call instead of in-person, clear communication and discussions are falling below the waistline. When communication is lacking, designers can begin misunderstanding what it is the client is wanting, and clients may begin reevaluating whether or not their vision is being seen correctly…or at all. Good communication can solve the majority of scarce emails and confusing calls, which will lead to a healthier relationship between the two companies. Here are some pointers to help master the art of communication between client and designer, and understand why it’s important.
Be Clear and Descriptive When Communicating
Whether it be in-person or electronically, make sure to be clear and concise with your words. Most misunderstandings are caused by being too vague in your description of what’s going on. Avoid using acronyms and abbreviations or any jargon the client won’t understand; instead, try to be as descriptive as possible. Giving a detailed rundown of what you’re planning to do will make it easier for the client to understand. Clear communication like this on both ends will help tremendously in growing a good relationship.
Determine What They’re Working Towards
Ask them—What are you trying to accomplish? Focus on the client’s issues at hand, and try to solve it first and foremost. Remember that you are designing for the client, and not yourself. Ask questions about their company, and get a basic understanding of them before trying to solve the problem blindly. If they want to increase the incoming traffic to their website, look into what has worked for them and what hasn’t. If they already are advertising and create blogs, try suggesting getting into social media, or improving on-site SEO. Chances are, the problem to solve is easier than you both think.
Become a Friend in Arms
Be personal. Ask them who they are, and what they want to be known for as a business. Every company has a story to tell. It’s your job to have it be heard. Have them describe their company in just a few words. Taking the time to learn about their past and how they view themselves can help you learn what their strengths and weaknesses are as a company, and expand off it. If they plan to expand their market and retain their current customer base, suggest they stray away from wanting a design that’s trending right now, and inevitably temporary, but rather something that’s enduring and permanent. Work as a unit to accomplish their goals.
Finish What You Promised
The client is entrusting you with the fate of their company—and their budget. It’s important to keep to your word and complete what you promised them and do it punctually. Finishing jobs on-time or slightly ahead of schedule makes the client ecstatic and more willing to work with you again. Make sure you discuss a steady timeframe for when item/s need to be completed by beforehand, and keep them updated on how progress is going if it’s a longer task. If you come across a bump in the road, tell them right away, especially if it could affect the allotted time.
Here at Transformation Marketing, our values create our culture. We strive to always put the client first, do what’s right, move fast, take action and own it, and most importantly, win as a team. We’re a team of professionals ready to take on any marketing needs you may need, so give us a call!