One of the most difficult parts of being a freelancer and having your own online business is dealing directly with your clients. If they are disappointed, it’s your fault completely. You don’t have a company or colleagues to fall back on to help you deal with the clients.
Freelancing is not as easy as it is expected to be. Call it a negative aspect or the positive one, when you are into the job and you are offering services to some company, you don’t have to deal with the clients directly and if a client has some issue regarding your work, your boss has to deal with it. Whereas, in the case of freelance designers, they have to deal with the clients directly and have no scope of blaming others for not having met the expectations of the clients.
It is very demoralizing to hear your clients say something bad for you have disappointed them intentionally or unintentionally. If you keep falling short while handling any of your client it will accidentally disappoint your design clients.
With few intelligent ways you can cut out the disappointment on your clients’ end and be professional enough to be trusted that you will provide the best result maintaining the good rapport with the clients.
1. Don’t Over Commit
You certainly know which is a feasible demand from the client’s end and which is not. In the quest to impress the client, don’t go over the board and commit anything that is not feasible. Don’t commit on anything you can’t deliver.
Time span for example is entirely up to you to decide and let the client know because you know how much time you expect to take in handling a particular project. If you promise to deliver the project on a stipulated time period and don’t do the same, its entirely your mistake. Evaluate before hand and keep the margin before you promise.
2. Design Trends and Techniques
If you are in this field for quite a few years and have been using same techniques and trend till now, its time to bring in the changes. Make use of new design techniques and follow the latest design trends. As a designer, its your responsibility to evaluate and implement new design techniques and technologies.
3. Meeting Deadlines
When you have committed to deliver the project at a particular time, stick to it. Even if you have to work day and night to meet the deadline; do it but leave no stone unturned to finish the project on time. If for some reason you are unable to deliver it on time, do make sure to inform the client beforehand and apologize for the same besides letting the client know what you will be doing or offering as compensation.
4. Listen to the Client
If you are a designer, develop the skills of listening. This is one key tip to meet the expectations of the clients. Listen carefully to what exactly the client is expecting which doesn’t mean that you need to stay silent. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, make sure you take meticulous notes of important points.
5. Be Accessible
Be as accessible at the time schedule you have given to your client so that s(he) might want to ask or convey some message. Tell the client about the mode of communication and time of your availability. Also, ask the same because you never know when the need arises while handling the project.
It is suggestive to stay in touch and be accessible even after you are over with the project. New opportunities might knock your doors. Also, it will help the client incase the need arises.
6. Accept your Mistakes
To err is human. You can make mistakes while handling the project. Don’t blame your mistake on things and other people. If you have committed a mistake or you are unable to meet the deadline make sure to apologize. Take responsibility and avoid giving excuses.
7. Don’t Complain on Additional Work
There are chances that the client might ask you to some additional work. Something might click his/her mind in between. It sounds irritating but you need to take it calmly. You can charge for the additional work and let client know about it before doing the needful.
8. Don’t Respond Defensively to Complaints
Very few people take criticism positively. We all hate criticism of our work but give it a thought, if nobody is providing feedback how will you come to know that you have done the work correctly or not. It is not always that the client will like your design. He/she may complain and without going defensive take this criticism as constructive and work on that in a positive manner.
10. Invoicing at Right Time
Its pointless and highly unprofessional to invoice a client before you have even delivered a bit. When you have delivered what was discussed beforehand, wait for clients to have their say and know if they are satisfied with your work. After the client has approved the draft, you can send in the invoice and final design. Timing your invoices tactfully is the trick.
Now, you know what all it takes to be professional designer and not disappoint clients. Keep these simple key points in mind while taking or handling any project. It is easy to choose freelancing as a career but asks you to be smart and professional to maintain your professionalism and meet the expectations of the clients.