A good client-designer relationship can not only make work easy and fun but can also lead to productive discussions and ideas that help make the end result a lot better. You must have experienced this too, be it from the client-side or the designer side. What if we tell you there are ways to ensure you start off just the right way with your client/designer and have a relationship that is both fruitful and fun?
Here are 6 crucial factors you need to take care of.
1. Being prepared
What is the client’s brand about? Do they have an existing website or a social media page? Who are their competitors? What things can be adopted from their style or layout? As a web designer, these are some questions you need to research on before conducting your first meeting with the client. Not only does this show you are motivated and passionate about the work you do, but also it results in time saved as the client doesn’t have to update you on basic things.
This becomes an even more important factor when both of you are packed with to-dos on your task list. You can have productive meetings if you are prepared. What this might mean going ahead is sharing a brief with the client/designer before every meeting.
2. Setting expectations at the beginning
Every client and designer has their own set of rules and expectations. Letting them know your process, timeline, and feedback process can save time as well as build a better relationship moving forward. For example, after working on many projects, you may find out that continuous feedback works the best. Having a discussion with your client beforehand about this prepares them for the regular meetings they’d need to have with you.
Everything that you do sends a message to the client. For example, if you are keeping meetings on Saturday, it is assumed that you work on Saturdays as well. So, make sure everything that you do aligns with the expectations set in the beginning.
3. Having a transparent communication process
Instead of keeping things bottled up, be clear about any concerns you have with the project. Communicate openly with your client. For example, if your client has a habit of postponing meetings, try setting these meetings a week ahead so that they can schedule them. If not, communicate politely that it eats up a lot of your time that you could have otherwise dedicated to their web design project.
Open communication also means that instead of waving off your client’s concerns, you take time to think from their perspective and suggest solutions, if needed.
4. Being flexible
Sometimes, your client may need you to speed up the process. It may be due to an unplanned contingency like market changes or external influences. Adaptation is the key in these kinds of situations. It may also happen that even after spending a lot of time picking the right color for the website or writing the code for the entire project, your client may come up to you and demand major changes. Instead of taking it personally, understand their concerns and accept their feedback. A compromise here and there is the key to a good designer-client relationship.
5. Having patience
Your clients may not know about the typefaces, y-frames, and even the color sets that should be used for web designing. Instead of thinking that your client already knows everything, have patience and walk them through your rationale when they have a doubt or a differing opinion. Explain your thinking in a way that a non-designer can understand. Sure, it may be a little frustrating and may even take up quite a bit of your time but it will help you strengthen your relationship with the client and build trust.
6. Having a feedback process
When it comes to a web design project, a lot of feedback and suggestions come in from the client’s side as well as the team’s side. To have it all fragmented in different channels like emails, Whatsapp, and Slack may mean that important feedback might remain unattended.
Instead of having your client come up to you again and tell you about that, make use of a visual feedback tool like Ruttl. With its easy shareability link, clients can write their comments on live websites without having to go through the painstaking process of signing up and logging in every time they need to give feedback. Not only does Ruttl help your clients give you precise feedback, it makes sure no feedback data gets lost in the thousand unread emails in your inbox.
Thinking of taking Ruttl for a spin? Sign up and get started for free to see the power of Ruttl for yourself and build an amazing relationship with your web-design client!