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Thursday, May 19, 2011
Six Steps to make your client Happy
Catching attention and bringing in new clients is easier than it seems. A lot of it is down to keeping your existing clients happy, offering a fantastic customer service, and generally doing things to keep your clients in a positive mood about whatever it is you do for them, whether you’re a graphic or web designer, web developer, or even a photographer. This article outlines eight great tips to help keep your clients super happy, ultimately resulting in long-term clients and even a longer client list!
Step 1: Keep A Positive Attitude
Some clients know a lot about the creative industry, and can sometimes surprise to just how much they actually know, especially if they’ve been in the same job or running the same business for a long time. These clients are usually generally easy to keep hold of, so long as you get the work done to a good standard. Others, however, are amateurs, and either think they know more than you about your professional field but actually don’t know much at all (these are the bad clients – you can usually tell instantly if a bad client has approached you if they something along the lines of “I have made a proof of the design I want in Microsoft Office”, or just generally don’t know much about design and are happy to let you get on with it (these are the good clients, who leave almost everything up to you).
Mainly because of the several types of clients I listed above, it’s not always easy to keep a positive attitude whilst working for them – some know exactly what they want and won’t stop harrassing you until it’s perfect, others don’t know what they want at all and don’t stop harrassing you until you’ve made thirty-odd-thousand revisions, and then there are some that are fine and just let you get on with it. So, what can you do to keep a positive attitude?
Listen To Your Client
However much they annoy you and make you feel like your blood cells are about to burst from your veins and splatter all over the ceiling, try your hardest to listen and to pay attention to what they’re saying. Wait until after they’ve finished talking to make your own suggestions, instead of interupting them, otherwise they may also get annoyed, resulting in a bad relationship on both ends and probably leaving you without some work, which definitely isn’t worth it just because you couldn’t bare to listen for any longer!
Show Your Client Examples Of Work
Show them examples of your ideas, whether existing work from your portfolio, or work of other creatives – you could print some examples of work that have a relation to their company or project (i.e. if your client wants a brochure designed for their clothing company, look for some great examples of brochures related to apparel design or fashion) and show them when at a meeting, or send it via email. This could be a great opportunity to show off your technology, too – why not upload the photos to your iPhone or iPad (when it has been released, of course!) and flick through some examples this way? This way your client can interact, keeping them happy and possibly making another conversation about the device, which helps to build up a happy working relationship. Discuss what you like about the shown examples, and what they like, and come up with your own (rough) ideas whilst you are still with the client.
Discuss The Ideas
Discuss the ideas and try to repeat some of their ideas in their inital brief/speech to keep them happy, and to make sure they know you were listening to them when you first spoke about the particular project.