Why the secret of making the client happy is to make the client work

When a client first approaches the client service person, there is a match made in heaven. They promise each other to make it work, and each of them brings the goodies to the table: the high-end exclusive benefits on one hand and the generous budget on the other.

But after the first half of the project, routine gets tiresome. They both just get sick of making an effort.

Here’re is why and how to prevent it, in order to obtain a healthy website, online campaign, a creative layout and smart communication.

The agency hours are not just numbers in a budget

Each budget proposal is estimated according to a number of hours necessary to make the brief a reality. When a client accepts the overall amount, they rarely consider the hours and almost never grasp the fact that they come to an end. Consuming hours by changing your mind is not a cheap approach, so when a feature is added, a layout is modified or a text is upgraded, they all add up to hours which were not initially taken into account. 

When a client aims, they should make sure they aim to shoot to the target, not just to hear a loud bang.

Each time a creative brief changes, the designer dies a little inside

The effort to write down the brief for a logo design or a website layout might seem much at first. Especially because the client has to really get involved to do it. But here is what happens when this is done poorly:

> an incomplete brief leads to a first round of proposals the client won’t like

> that’s not necessarily because they’re bad, but because the client never knew what to expect, so he refuses them, just to see a second round to compare with

> the designer is frustrated and takes the creativity down a notch

> the second round is not that smart, due to the emotional frustration factor, so the client asks for new stuff

each round of deliverables is done according to new requests that were never in the initial brief

> the design will never reach its initial potential and the motivation is lost

"Urgent" should never be bullshit

Of course there is a timing of the project, right from the start. Of course the client wants everything ASAP. Most of the times, due to ignoring the hours in the budget, as we’ve already pointed out, they need it done in half the estimated necessary time. But the tragedy strikes when even after the team actually manages the impossible and compressed time with lots of efforts and urgency in mind, the client forgets to offer feedback.

The urgency disappears the minute the client needs to make a new effort. Do you know what the psychology of working under pressure, for no reason, does to the team? It makes them hate what they do.

What client would want that? Would you like to annoy your surgeon right before a medical intervention? Would you want your architect pissed off at you before designing your house structure? No, so why would you want your digital experts to not care about what they deliver?

All in all, the client’s effort pays of in the end, because he is the only one reaping what he sowed. It can either be a cool, effective project, or a patched-up work.