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Why Is Communication Important With Your Client When You Are a Graphic Designer?
Communication is one of the most fundamental and an important prerequisite for the regular and friendly interaction, survival, and progress of humanity. Communication is the key skill for every business or an individual for success. It plays a vital role in graphic designer's work. As they are the person who communicates through images and texts, they need to convey the ideas, understand client's requirements and provide the best designs for them.
Along with the knowledge of the design principles, working knowledge of different designing software, a graphic designer in today's era has to possess different skills sets and client expects them to be to be a good communicator, listener, and illustrator. The communication skill differentiates a great designer from a good designer.
Communication helps in the clear understanding of the client requirements, facilitates the discussion between graphic designer and the client, and helps in receiving the feedback and results into overall the best design creation delivered gaining client satisfaction.
Being a graphic designer, you should consider the below aspects where only communication can work things out between you and your client:
The client knows their business better: Every client has its own business line and goals to achieve. They are looking for the graphic designers who can get the specific results for them. Even if you are a skilled graphic designer, you may not know their businesses, their competitors, and their target markets. They only know these aspects of their business. A graphic designer has a need to understand the things from their prospectus and should get information from them what type of visitors they have. Without an efficient communication, you will not be able to understand these things
Also after hearing from them, it is important that you can easily communicate your ideas based upon your listening of your client's requirement. Speaking and listening both are required for a graphic designer to be a good communicator. The way you talk and hear to your client can help in building a confidence and trust of your client for you. This skill is critical as this can make or break your business. The relation build with clients can get you more business but wrong communication can lead you to the design which doesn't satisfy your client's need, making you lose your client and also will hamper your reputation.
Building trust with a remote client -
Trust is one of the hardest and the most important aspect of a client -graphic designer relationship. It is difficult to earn it. Communication can help you in this difficult task. If you and your client understand each other and are clear enough while communicating the things between both, you will be able to build a trust. A clear communication boosts the confidence of the client in you and can act as a motivation for the graphic designer. Since now they know that they can honestly speak with you about the work and are sure that you will always respond them, you will get a freedom to design which indeed help in a better design for your client.
But if you are working remotely, online communication is the only option you have and this can make it much more difficult to establish close contact with the client. Phone talks, exchange of emails or even the video calls could not replace real-world human interactions. So you need to work hard on building this trust.
Introduce yourself to the client, let them know whom they are going to work, talk about your accomplishments and things you want to achieve in your life. Share information about your hobbies and interest for adding a personal touch. Ask your client to introduce themselves. Listen to them carefully and try to remember the details or document them for your future reference. This will help both the parties to be always around each other while working at remote places.
With the best work delivered with trust, certainly, this relationship will not end up with the project and will continue. The chances of re-hiring in such scenarios are always more. You both will help each other. Your client will be providing lots of work for you and you will be delivering the best to suit their needs
Ask more questions -
Don't hesitate to ask questions to your client before starting your design work. Make sure you get your all doubts cleared before starting the assignment. Don’t think what your client will think. Certainly, they will not find it wrong and consider you unskilled or unprofessional if you ask them the correct questions specific to the project. It is always advisable to do else you will end up wasting time and energy on things which were not expected from you and obviously need to rework for corrections. In fact, the client would be happy for your questions as these questions assure the dedicated and sincere efforts you are putting and can get confidence that you will deliver the best designs for them.
But while asking questions, make sure they are not vague and are clear and straight. Make sure you don't annoy your client with constant calls and messages interrupting their work. You can always schedule and ask some of their time regularly for clearing doubts about the work you have been working on for that particular period. Try not to ask negative questions to your clients.
Challenges of working in different time zones -
With the advanced technology and internet, graphic designers get opportunities to work with clients from all over the world, eliminating the distance, allowing them to work with people with different culture, experience, and needs. It also helps in business growth as you get a number of opportunities. But the main problem while working on such opportunities is the 'time-zone' difference. The time gap of 8-9 hours doesn't trouble you but what if it is more than 12 hours? You may be sleeping when your client starts working. This can make the communication much more difficult. Sometime it may cause you to wait for hours for a single response. But you can sort it out with the mutual discussion with your client.
Take a good time to discuss the things when you both are online. This can make things easier. You can also preplan the things and work as per plan. While working in such time zones, you should check the current time at your client's place before initiating any calls or any urgent emails. It is advisable to have an extra clock set matching with their time zone. Set deadlines and be self-disciplined to match them. Deliver the quality work on time to make your client happy.
Don't assume: Being an experienced person in the field of the graphic designs, you may know most of the technicalities of the field but your client may not. You may know about the business they are into, but not as they know it. Don't assume the client requirements on your own. This will only lead to time wastage. Instead, ask your clients about their requirement before you start working. It can be possible that the thoughts you have in your mind for the projects will not match the ideas they have come up for you and may need the designs as per their idea.
It is very necessary for a good graphic designer not to assume the things and work on the basis of his own thinking and thoughts. Instead, it should be based on both client and the designer's thoughts. Communication can help you to understand the wants from client side more clearly and it will also help you to showcase your interest. But if you assume things on your own, you may end up finding yourself in trouble. You may design the graphics based upon the kid's choices for video games being your client, a market player in children video games but what if they want to start and enter in youngster as a target market and was looking for a visual designer for the same? This can be a real mess. So better not assume.
Communicate design decisions to clients -
Communicating the design decisions to the client could be critical. Many designers go with "portfolios" as an option but pretty design doesn’t mean effective design for many clients. Most of the business people like to see the real numbers and are keen to know about different stats with regard to your designs. Let your client know how your designs are made to achieve goals and let them know the numbers.
If you want to impress the clients and get more business from them, you should provide them more of real facts than just ambiguous statements. The facts may not be fancy but they work wonders and are best to impress your clients. Your communication skills will help you to get this through smoothly.
As discussed earlier, your presentations skills, your way of illustration to the client can make you win the game. The smooth and clear communication of your design decisions will bring back more business from the client.
Establishing a human connection with your remote client -
As we discussed previously, communication may be difficult when you work with the remote client. In such cases, online communication is the only way. These online communication channels can be email, chat or video chat. Most of you are familiar with these channels and are used daily Emails are a great way to send detailed messages and files regarding important projects. You can use it for providing project updates to your clients. Make sure you write a precise and straight email in clear words avoiding ambiguous words. Keep it short and simple. If your client doesn’t understand it, he will ask you the clarification.
For a quick answers or information, exchange ideas, web chat applications, such as Google hangout can make it very easy for you to communicate and you can receive an immediate reply from the client side. It helps the smooth conversation without disturbing others. These apps also have facilities to share images and documents quickly.
Video chats, such as Google Hangouts etc. are the most popular among the clients from a remote location as you can not only share the ideas or information but can exchange the smiles, emotions, gestures and a tone of voice. This way of communication helps to get the personal touch in the communication and make the work relation more interactive.
The missing human connection while working with a client from a remote location can be established with these modern means of communication.
Over promise and over deliver to their clients -
It is always said that you should 'under-promise' and over-deliver so that you will always be in good books of your client. But in this era of high competition, this may not work well. Both customers and the businesses are moving forward with a lightning speed and they will not understand why you are under-promising.
With such huge competition, if want yourself to be noticed, you should you must over-promise. You can always make extreme claims on which you can work and deliver by stretching more on your front. Most of the companies are doing the business this way and this is the reason why they have such a big client base. Many of them even bother about finding out to fulfill their claims. If you deny and 'under promise;, your competitors will promise it and can snatch most of the customers from you. Try to focus on your strength and uniqueness than rest. This can help you to fulfill your promise made to the clients.
Talking about the "over-delivery' now. Research showed that companies which focused on creating the unique customer experiences were able to over-deliver consistently on their over-promises. They are the one who focused on creating unique systems, product, and the human element to it.
The product should satisfy the way it was promised and look the same. The products should be easily available in store and also can be easily disposed of. The products which are easy to use worked better for the claims. Finally, the people from the company should understand their role in delivering the satisfactory customer services. The way they dress, they communicate and act with clients does matter.
To sum up the entire discussion here, we should understand the importance of the effective communication between a graphic designer and a client for establishing a trust between the two where they can co-operate with each other and can get mutually benefited .The communication skills are the factor which creates a huge difference in understanding the work requirements, client relationship and for the better delivery of the designs and is the must-have skill for all graphic designers and the one who aspires to become so.
© 2017 Sonal