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Vent 1 Customer Expectation

By: John Whalvin at Designvent

Submitted on Thu, Oct 25th, 2007 12:00 am

There are not many things worse in business than a client who feels lied to, kept in the dark and generally messed around, especially when it can all be avoided by a simple honest process that if implemented and explained at the beginning will benefit all involved.

In general, a client will approach a designer with all manner of expectations, hopes and dreams and generally expecting miracles, the trick is to understand all that is said, correlate it and form a plan with timescales, milestones and all sign-off points clearly marked so both the designer and the client understand what is required of them and by when. For example, there is no point turning to your client the day before they want to launch their new website on a new server and request the details to re-point their domain. With all do respect to most clients these are never usually at hand and some have no idea what you are talking about. If these are requested at the beginning, well, not hard to work out is it!

At the same time, by requesting all the necessary information early there is a great opportunity to explain to the client what these details are and how they affect the site. This way, not only do you gain the information early but you also educate the client thereby further increasing their trust in the work you do and the knowledge that you have.

Whichever industry you find yourself in you have to resign yourself to the fact that there are certain aspects of business that you have to rely on someone else for. If the air-conditioning in your office breaks down you send for a specialist who you TRUST knows how to service and repair the unit, although if the photocopier starts playing up you will nine times out of ten have a go at fixing it yourself before you call out the service agent. If your computer plays up you will probably switch it off and on then at a push run Norton or similar program, when this fails it is time for IT Support Staff if you didnt call them at the beginning and go for a coffee.

The point to be made is that the client will approach a designer for the simple fact that they have a knowledge and expertise that most in day to day life do not possess due to lack of training and understanding. So once there son, daughter, friends, uncles and cousins have failed to produce the professional website that their company requires, they will approach a graphic designer for the expertise they require and to know they can TRUST that the person designing their work has the knowledge and skill to hit the mark.

Once that trust has been established, a great working relationship can so easily follow with a good opportunity for repeat work. But it is easy to get complacent and trust is so easily lost so continuing the management of customer expectation is key.

About the Author

John Whalvin
: LISTENING : CLIENTS VENT : THINKING : OUR VENT : CREATING : IMPLEMENT Designvent : Award Winning Graphic Design for Web and Print :

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