Web design is all about people
As a web designer, you will need to be able to get along with a people who have a variety of personalities and backgrounds. Being able to connect with people is essential for attracting prospects to your business, landing clients and getting referrals.
Being able to maintain a great relationship with your clients during the actual project development phase is even more important. After all, if they only recall you being impolite or unresponsive to their emails during the project, how likely do you think it is that they will come back to you when they have more work? Not very. It's even less likely that they will recommend your services to a friend, considering they will have had a bad experience themselves.
But being a great business owner isn't all about the clients. Forging a healthy and positive relationship with your clients will also make your work less stressful and more enjoyable. You will look forward to interacting with your clients and helping them grow their business. You will enjoy your work far more, and you will make lasting friendships through your work - not just clients.
So how can you improve your relationships with your clients?
In this blog post, we will cover 7 web design client relations tactics that are extremely easy to implement but that have far-reaching effects in your relationships with your customers. We'll go over many simple things you can do throughout the web design process to improve your client relationships - from prospecting and acquiring clients, to getting the design in place, developing the actual site and having great relationships with them long after the project is done.
1: Ask questions about their business, get to know what their work day looks like
People like to talk about themselves. By default we are all pretty self-interested, and people really appreciate it when someone takes an interest in something they are passionate about. By just asking some simple but well thought-out questions about their business and their passions, you will learn a lot about them as a person and how they operate their business. You will also get a lot of relevant information about their niche that will help you to provide a better service to your clients.
2: Show that you remember the answers they give you
The only thing that feels better than someone asking you about something you love, is finding out that the person valued your response enough to remember it and recall it later on. If you have a terrible memory like me, you might want to write some basic info about your clients on an index card or in your phone contacts that you can review any time you know you will be talking with them. Your clients will genuinely appreciate you asking them how vacation went, if their kids are still sick, or how things are going with their other interests. Recalling that information also helps you to remember those facts better and recall them better next time.
3: Be genuine
None of these tips will work if you are not really interested in your clients. People appreciate genuine interest, but it's almost always offensive when you can tell that someone is only showing interest to get something out of it. The best thing you can do to have better relationships with your clients is show genuine interest. It has to be real.
4: Do additional research on your client's industry
Becoming more knowledgeable about your client's business will benefit you in a few ways. First, your clients will really appreciate the initiative you show in their business. If you are doing additional research to ensure that you can meet your client's needs, they will recognize how motivated and dedicated you are to their project. This additional research will also allow you to design better websites for your clients since you will be better informed about the industry itself and what design concepts will appeal to the customers of that niche.
5: Show how you are tailoring your client's websites to match their target audience's needs
After you have done some research on your client's industry, you should have a pretty clear idea of what design concepts will appeal to their audience. If you are making specific changes to how you approach the web design, tell you clients how you are tailoring your work to what will benefit their business the most. Be careful not to make it sound like you are bragging, just mention why you are doing things the way you are and how you think it will benefit them. This shows initiative and real interest in your clients. It shows that they are not just another client to you, you really want to help them grow their business and meet their goals.
6: Follow up with your clients after the project is done to ensure they are happy with the end product
Many web designers will finish a project and never contact their clients again until they need more work. Don't do that. Your clients will appreciate it if you follow up with them even when there is no financial gain for you. By just following up and offering to help them get the most out of their website or explain something they don't understand, you show that you aren't just concerned with the paycheck you got. You really want to help them succeed.
7: Don't be a stickler about giving advice or solving problems
No one enjoys working with someone who is uptight about getting paid. If a client has a problem that takes 5 minutes to fix, do it for free. It's not that big of a deal and they will appreciate your effort to help them even though you aren't getting paid. This is especially easy to do if you end up with a lot of questions about how to use their website or similar topics. Don't bill them for the consultation time. Just give them the answers they need to succeed.
By using these 7 easy tips for client relations, you will be able to form lasting relationships with your clients. This won't just benefit you financially, it will benefit you personally. You'll enjoy your work more, you'll feel more fulfilled in your career and you'll form real friendships with the people you come into contact with.
Now it's your turn! Which of these tips surprised you? Which one do you plan on using first?