5 Client Relationship Tips for Web Designers

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Some business owners spend a considerable amount of money developing an attractive website, but the website’s content may not be optimized for conversion or aligned with company goals. The best business website is developed with considerable insight and strategic planning in mind.

By positioning yourself as an advisor, expert or even a friend to your client through the website’s design, he or she can engage with customers, reach its company’s goals and present a professional, eye-catching image.

1. Determine Goals and Objectives

5 Client Relationship Tips for Web Designers

Your initial consultation with a client is a time to learn about the current website’s issues and what the customer’s goals are. Most new clients have a specific issue that causes them to reach out to you.

Your client’s goals may be revised as the project progresses, so consider the goals as a moving target. Throughout the project, express your understanding of the goals so that you and the client are on the same page. More than that, define your plan to meet the client’s objectives.

2. Show Interest in Their Business

5 Client Relationship Tips for Web Designers

You cannot develop an effective website that engages with the business’s target audience without some background knowledge. You must know the business model and understand who the target audience is to create a design and format that is engaging.

Analyze the current website while also learning more about the business. Focus on the current color schemes, branding efforts and corporate culture. Your client should be aware of the effort you took to learn about the company and the current website.

Verbally communicate with your client in an empathetic manner about his or her needs. They should feel that you are interested in helping them address their pain points. Explain the steps that you can take to address the client’s concerns.

3. Communicate Openly

5 Client Relationship Tips for Web Designers Open and clear communication is essential throughout the website design process. Communication is a two-way street. Be receptive to what the client is saying. Show respect through apt listening, and develop trust and rapport through back-and-forth dialog.

Ask questions as necessary so that the client knows that you are really listening. Follow up to an initial meeting with a list of your understanding of the scope of the project.

A smart idea is to send the client a few examples of websites that you have already designed, and ask for their likes and dislikes about the pages. This will give you greater insight into what they are looking for. Furthermore, ask the client to share great examples of websites that they have found online through their own research.

Communication is more challenging if you work remotely and are not able to meet in person with a new client. Technology can be used to overcome these challenges. Video conferencing tools and file sharing strategies are available to establish open lines of communication and effective collaboration.

4. Educate Them on Web Design

5 Client Relationship Tips for Web Designers

Clients often have grand dreams about what their website should do. However, with your expertise, you may be aware of challenges or obstacles with the client’s design plans. Rather than be afraid of losing a customer, educate the client about why some ideas may not work out as they planned.

Talk about design plans that could inflate the cost of their design project outside of their allocated budget. Even if your client is unhappy that his own design idea cannot come to life, he will appreciate the honesty. The client will also probably respect your expertise and value your feedback and ideas.

5. Be Honest

5 Client Relationship Tips for Web Designers

At all stages of the design process, be open and transparent with the client. Clients can often tell when you are skirting an issue or are not being forthright. They could be turned off by their perception about dishonesty.

From the initial meeting, openly and honestly communicate about your creative process to set expectations. Include information about the steps that you take up-front to develop an effective design.

If you are aware that one of the client’s design requests cannot be executed precisely to their liking, set reasonable expectations. Take the additional step of explaining the full reasoning behind your response. Remember to always communicate with the primary decision makers as much as possible.

Website designers are seen as being technology experts, but they also must have people skills. You need to work very closely with clients throughout the process. When you develop exceptional people skills, you could satisfy clients and gain referrals. Challenges may be enhanced when you work remotely and are not able to meet with clients in person. These tips each have beneficial impacts on your ability to develop client relationships, and this includes in-person and distant client relationships.

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About Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon is a business-focused marketing professional based in Houston. His mission in life is to help his clients get quality and consistent leads using the latest online marketing and SEO strategies. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and watching sports. Follow him on Twitter @ericdavidgordon

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