Top 4 Tips For Working With Difficult Web Design Customers
Most professional web designers must carefully deal with customers every single day. For the majority of web designers, this experience is pleasant and good for business. However, not every interaction with a customer turns out well. Web designers must learn how to work better and more efficiently with difficult customers to succeed in the web design business.
Good and clear communication is the solid basis of any relationship, including the relationship between a web designer and a customer. If you can learn to communicate clearly with a tough client, you can eliminate misunderstandings and issues. First, you must realize that you’re the one with the web design expertise, not your client. You need to user clear language to explain what you mean when you talk about browser compatibility and advertising on social networks. Your client likely only has a basic background in the finer points of web design. Second, resist the urge to rely only on email communication. Picking up the phone to talk to your client can save you from misunderstandings that can arise from text-only conversations.
Finally, keep communication going at all times. Make sure your client is constantly aware of your progress on the project.
Some of your clients may think they know more about web design than you. When you come across a difficult client like this, you must exercise patience and endurance. For example, the client may make suggestions that you know would completely break the site’s design. The client may continue to push you after you’ve explained why it won’t work. If you want to keep this relationship intact, you must avoid feeling defensive and responding angrily. Your expertise and experience will eventually win your client over, especially when they see your new design in action.
This type of situation can also provide you with the opportunity to educate your client more about what you do. If you take advantage of this chance, you might make your future work for this client even easier.
Be Honest and Upfront
Honesty and realism are always good policies to embrace when you have a tough client. Sometimes, a client makes demands that are not realistic. For example, the client may request that you create a new website design in a very short amount of time. If you know you can’t make the design in time, tell your client upfront. Hopefully, the client will appreciate your honesty and adjust her specifications for the job. If you try to do the job without saying anything, you run the risk of angering your client when you can’t finish the job.
When you take on a new web design client, begin documenting every interaction. This includes any emails, instant messages over the Internet, and phone text messages. If you talk over the phone and have no way to record your conversation, write down notes. Keeping meticulous notes helps you deal with a difficult web design client in a number of ways. First, your notes can help you make sure you’re doing exactly what the client requested. If your client is acting very pushy and demanding, your notes will help you feel reassured that you’re fulfilling your client’s request. Second, if your client suddenly demands something that contradicts an earlier agreement, you will have the documentation to prove it.
Kevin Cross is a web designer and guest author at Top Web Design Schools, where he contributed to the guide to the Top 10 Best Online Web Design Schools and Degrees.