Successful client communications are built upon interpersonal skills that enable web/audio designers to meaningfully exchange with clients during the creative process.
The designer serves the client and in turn the wider community by providing timely solutions that ‘get it right’. No design is an island alone but rather exists within a broadcast spectrum - from the client, to the client’s clients, to the world beyond. A successful design should function constructively within both the immediate and broader context.
Effective client relations lay at the heart of every studio project.
The key element within this is a friendly and constructive design process that is essentially free of unnecessary jargon.
The Skills to pay the Bills
The 5 Keys to Best Practice Client Communication
1. (Really) Listen to the Client
Make it your business to listen first and talk later.
Listening is an interactive communication skill. You are challenged to gain an accurate understanding of the client and their project and in doing so ascertain what they truly need from their designer.
2. Speak Easy
Oftentimes clients feel uncertain in regards to technical details that are outside their sphere of experience. To some, technology represents a jargon-filled barrier that is impossible to cross.
Consider your client and keep is simple. Avoid lengthy explanations and focus on simply explained positive outcomes.
3. Ask Questions / Encourage Feedback
Questions provide an avenue for further clarification. Again, keep it simple. Aim to build client trust. Never over-explain when less is often more.
Feedback helps to avoid dissatisfaction. This ultimately assists the process.Address each issue raised systematically with the client in a constructive manner.
4. Focus on Results
Define your target.
Explain your ideas in terms that the client can relate to. Everybody seeks a good outcome. People appreciate adherence to a deadline and the completion of a goal or project that clearly realises pre-defined objectives.
When you consistently focus upon your client’s results - your own results increase.
5. Relax and Be Yourself
In seeking to make the client happy, you must find happiness yourself.
Aim to enjoy all aspects of your work. People are part of the process.
Designers need people (clients) who need to get work done.