Schools Training

Client Management for Web and Graphic Design Courses Grads

13 MAR 2013
Career Path : Customer Service

It happens to the best of us. If you studied web design courses or graphic design, you’ll end up with a monster client. Maybe they don’t understand the limitations of what you are capable of doing, or maybe what they paid for. Perhaps they are just unfairly demanding or poor communicators. Maybe they just take everything personally or are just loud.


Regardless, you might wonder if there’s any way you can better handle these sorts of situations. Some of what will help you is the same basic advice taught in customer service programs, but some of what you should know is specific to anyone who does creative work for pay.


Overly high expectations. This client has a shoestring budget, but expects you to create the next big thing in social media. Or they have seen one too many episodes of a television crime drama and they think picture perfect enhances and three dimensional rotations are an easy click away on a snapshot of their wife from the 1970s.


There’s nothing to do here but explain with confidence that what they want is simply impossible. Don’t take guilt trips about your abilities personally, or try to work magic. You’re not expecting them to give you a million dollars and a yacht in payment.


Endless changes. It might be a simple job, well within your abilities, but every time the get their hands on the so called final version, it’s back on your desk with a font change request, or a demand to change the colour. Though the actual work is very possible, it can eat up valuable time perfecting what they want.


When you write up your contract, and contract negotiations really should be a mandatory part of web or graphic design courses. Set a finite limit on the number of revisions they’ve paid for and make it clear they will be billed for anything else. Then you either make the value of your time or they learn when enough is enough.


A poor communicator. Some people just don’t know what to ask for. You are probably reasonably adept at parsing out visuals from what people describe, but when the best they can do is to tell you they want “a design with pizzazz, that pops”, or like the client with inflated expectations, start rattling off pie in the sky examples.


Combat this by treating your portfolio like marketing and a teaching tool. Samples of your capacity, something you’ve been building since day one of those web or graphic design courses, can serve like a hair dresser’s look book.


The abuser. You do not have to put up with a yeller, and especially not one who calls you nasty names. However if you goofed, de-escalate with a classic from customer service programs and speak softly.


The lower your voice goes, the more it will encourage the client to speak softer.  Easier on your ears and throat!


Visit Academy of Learning College for more information on resources for web design courses.