Communicating with Clients in Web Design
Career Path : Business
Whether you are working for yourself as a freelancer or part of a company of web designers, one of the hardest parts of your job is not the coding or the artistic side of the business, but dealing with the needs and demands of the clients. Though it may not have been covered in your graphic and web design courses, not only does your paycheck depends on making the customer happy, but youâll also save your sanity if you donât let the client run over you rough shod.
You will need to walk a fine line between filling the customer with confidence with your abilities and helping them give you input on the final product they would like to see and making sure you do not get taken advantage of. One of the main problems you may encounter is clients who really donât understand the technology you are working with. Some of this is understandable, because you wouldnât be hired if they could do it themselves, but you also have to be careful of the problem of clients who think they understand everything, and ask you to create the next major social media platform on a shoe string budget, or they saw something on a television show that makes them think you can do things not graphic design course teaches.
Youâll also want to watch out for tiny corrections and changes snowballing into massive amounts of hours the client did not agree you could bill for. Whether itâll be your boss breathing down your neck because the customer wonât pay for the extra ten changes to their blogâs logo that they asked for, or you fighting to juggle deadlines when the revisions balloon, you want to get things right in the least amount of time possible and only do what they paid you to do.
Some of the problem solving can be taken care of by documenting everything and clearly letting the client know what you can and cannot do. You donât need to give them free web design courses, but for more nervous clients, a quick outline saves you a headache later. Another thing you need to do is learn to practice active listening and other client friendly soft skills. If youâre adrift, sales and customer service programs can get you on the right track, but basically certain techniques help clients feel reassured and that theyâre being listened to, so theyâll tell you what they want better, and be less critical of the things you serve up. Itâll also help you assert yourself on the subject of unpaid edits. Lastly, document absolutely everything. You will have something to point to, whether politely reminding a client that they need to pay if you change the shade of blue one more time, to avoiding having to repeat Internet 101 every time your client calls you.
Visit Academy of Learning College for more information on a graphic design course.