In a creative field such as design, achieving satisfaction on the end of both parties can sometimes be a difficult task.
Design comes down to preferences, and as a client, establishing a good relationship with a designer is the first step in ensuring a successful end result.
This process is just as important for a designer as it allows them to get a better understanding of their customers wants and needs.
We have put together some key points that have helped us at Made Agency create and maintain lasting relationships with clients over a long period of time.
This is an essential component of the designer-client relationship, and with this in mind, effective communication is necessary. Once you’ve developed a working relationship with your designer or vice versa, you will be better equipped to attain the desired result. Below are some features that will help you identify a good designer-client relationship and how you can improve your existing relationships.
One of the fundamentals of a successful designer-client relationship is to be clear. As a client you need to be upfront and transparent about what you want. As a designer you need to be explicit about what you can offer. Establishing clarity within this relationship is one of the most important things to do from the get-go. By doing this, you can avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings that might arise throughout the design process and better yet, dodge any discrepancies with the final product. Whilst it is essential to be clear about what you want as a client and what you can offer as a designer, it is also important for both parties to keep an open mind. This is because the wants of the client might change as the design process advances or the designer pushes the boundaries a little as they begin to draft.
Another critical ingredient in the recipe for a good relationship between client and designer is feedback. As a designer, it is imperative to have constant back and forth communication with a client so you can best meet their needs. This is why honest feedback is important. For example, if a designer was to run into a bit of uncertainty with a design project for a client, ineffective or limited feedback can really slow down work-flow. Quick and detailed feedback from a client can effectively eliminate these unnecessary bumps in the road and speed up workflow, making this process more pleasant for everybody involved.
Something that can be done by both client and designer alike, is to be flexible and accommodating. This means that as a client, it is important to acknowledge a designers schedule and possible time limitations. You cannot expect a designer to produce your desired outcome within a day, nor can you expect a designer to be available to speak to at any time of the day. Inversely, a designer must be flexible by nature as it is not uncommon for clients to want to change certain elements or request adjustments to a design being worked on.
Similarly, the designer also needs to be accommodating to the time constraints of the client when looking for feedback or some sort of communication. Flexibility can help reduce some of the pressures and anxieties felt on either end of the spectrum and ultimately assist in reaching an ideal final product without extra stresses.
As a designer, it is imperative to have constant back and forth communication with a client so you can best meet their needs. This is why honest feedback is important.
Last, but certainly not least, it is important to maintain a level of trust in order to create a lasting and rewarding relationship for the agency and the client, too.
Keeping the lines of communication open, providing customer support wherever possible, asking for opinions and providing adequate guidance, and adapting the business model to suit the many changes that occur is crucial to maintaining a sense of trust and integrity.