Keeping clients happy is a job in itself; happy clients are repeat clients and the key to a successful business and the best way to do it is involving the client in the design process. Let’s face it, nobody likes to be alone in the dark, we want to be a part and feel that our opinions are important.
This is not public relationships hype. Your clients don’t just trust you to communicate their message; they are paying you to do it. If you have a couple of first meetings and then disappear, only to resurface a week later with a near finished design, you will probably have a pretty unhappy client.
Always include a healthy amount of time to feedback your client. Make it clear from the start that you intend to involve your client in every step of the process.
Feedback also helps avoid costly pitfalls such as spending a lot of time and resources on an idea that you may think is the coolest, only to submit it to a client who doesn’t like it and repeat the whole process.
Remember that the Longer you work on anything the more emotionally attached you become and you will probably won’t accept critics very easily.
Steps for Including your client in the Process
- First draft a creative brief, it doesn’t have to be 10 pages long, but it has to establish the Project Goals, and point all the steps to achieve it.
- Send Completed Projects In Several Ways: There’s nothing better than receiving a finished file in various different ways. Don’t just send the files via email – be creative, for example you can make an specific part in your website for clients so they can se the work in progress.
- If a project runs into problems, let your client know as soon as possible that alternative plans can be made if necessary.
There is a fear that including your client in every step of the process will drive you crazy with “creative direction”
Some times this is justified but more often it works the other way around. It is like a relationship: the more you respect your client’s feels, the more secure he will feel with your work.
The dialogue established through regular updates allows the design to grow through a mixing of ideas.