How to establish a good relationship between the designer and the client

The client-designer relationship is one of the crucial steps for the long-term satisfaction of our customers. A very fruitful relationship is established between these two pillars, in which, on one hand, the designer gets the client to better understand the technical issues of our work and, on the other hand, contributes with knowledge about his business. It is with this union of knowledge that we are able to add a layer of value to our projects, thus positioning us as the Customer Experience Design Agency in Portugal.

This is not, however, a relationship without challenges. The designer’s work involves a range of techniques, as well as studies and research prior to project development, which are not always simple to communicate to clients. However, there are ways to overcome this challenge and to establish a better relationship between the designer and the client:

1. Establish complicity

A successful project implies that both parties – design team and client – are open to different ways of thinking. Still, there must be some consensus and a degree of complicity – through dialogue – regarding the ideas discussed, in order to arrive at the best end result.

2. Clarify all doubts

In order to do the best work possible, the designer must gather as much information and clarify all doubts with the client.  The creation of a positive relationship between both makes the whole process easier, since understanding generates clarification.

3. Recognize the contribution of both parties

The client recognizes the level of professionalism, experience, and technical knowledge of a designer. Even so, sometimes there are clients who come up with ideas and proposals already with some degree of definition. It is important to mention that all inputs from the client are valid. The designer, as a professional in the area, must analyze the client’s ideas, understand if they are relevant and develop his work from there, without overriding his critical sense. If there are more appropriate alternatives, the designer must justify them to the client, so that he is always aware of the choices made and understands the direction that the project is taking.

4. Keep an open mind and constant communication

The designer lives in a very visual world. On the other hand, sometimes clients can’t clearly understand which is the best way to go, and the best media and formats to communicate a certain type of information. Thus, it is up to the designer to help not only the team – from the client manager, project manager, marketeers, among others – but also the client itself. It is important that the client is able to complete his reasoning, which implies that the designer has, on one hand, great communication skills and, on the other hand, an open mind for his ideas. 

5. Know all the details of the project well

At LOBA, before starting any project, we dedicate ourselves to the definition of work methodologies and other essential aspects that serve to clarify the client about all the project details. This information will be included in the briefing, an essential document that describes the steps to be taken at all stages of a project’s implementation.

At LOBA, the briefing definition is essential to provide a good service, since it helps the designer to understand the client and assists him throughout the creative process.

With this, it is fundamental to understand not only the work we are going to have in hands, the product and the methodologies. It is essential to understand the client, to know his expectations, the mission, vision and values of his company.

Empathy is, without a doubt, the motto for the relationship we establish among the team, but also in the relationship with our customers. It allows us to put ourselves in their shoes, with the purpose of better understanding them, their perspective and goals. We believe that this is the only way we can achieve the best result for our clients and, of course, for yours!

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