What are the best things that you can give your clients? I’m writing this article purely from my own perspective as a website developer. I encourage you to think creatively and consider how my list resonates with your clients.
When I initiate communication with a potential client I typically discuss what the client is looking for and what I can do to help them with their website development. I’ve often found that I have to tell potential clients things they don’t want to hear. By being honest right from the get-go—whether or not the potential client actually becomes a paying client—we understand each other and there are no unrealistic expectations. By being honest I am also ensuring that the potential client can go away from the conversation feeling that their questions were answered. So if the situation calls for it, I tell them that a good logo is rarely done in two hours, or that a web site can’t be built in a day, or that their budget is too low for what they want me to do.
It’s always been my hope that if I am fair to my clients they’ll be fair to me. Some things come to mind regarding fairness…I don’t promise something I can’t deliver (that’s not to say I don’t welcome a challenge when I see one but I know my own limits). I never over-charge. Ever. My pricing structure fits into what I feel is competitive and appropriate for today’s web development market. At the same time, I never undercharge. I’ll just pass on the job. It’s very important for both the client and the developer to feel that they are being treated fairly. It fosters a great relationship, and if the website developer feels that they aren’t being paid fairly they aren’t as likely to do their best work.
I try to be there for my clients. I also prefer to have them involved in the design process, so I encourage them to provide as much feedback as possible, and I always tell them that it’s ok to start over. I give them the opportunity to do that. If I don’t get it right on the first attempt there’s always another opportunity to start over and of course there’s always going to be a refining process for just about any concept.
Good communication is essential for just about any company, especially a service company, but a manufacturing company should also provide lots of communication regarding their product.
Honestly, I would never be a web developer if I didn’t have patience to spare. If a client isn’t liking a design that I present to them I openly tell them that we can start over. It comes with the job, and sometimes I work with clients who are more concerned about the tiny details. By carefully listening and showing patience things typically come to a successful completion.
Be Open to Learning
Sometimes I learn a lot from my clients, like how to back away from a concept that *I* really like but isn’t resonating with a client…or I learn about a whole new business concept and why it’s so meaningful to my client…or that not every client will want things done the expected way. In this business I have to be open to learning new ways of doing things in order to give my clients what they ultimately need. I’m sure the same goes for your business and your clients too.
A Job Well Done
I’ll admit that it’s a work in progress to get to a point where you feel you’ve fully satisfied all your clients. For different reasons, some clients are more demanding than others. Sometimes even I’m amazed at how well a project turns out! I’m prepared to put in the work and stay committed to a project, even when it becomes difficult, and not every web development project ends up being a dream project. It’s reality in this business. A job well done means more than a great looking website. It means providing a great service to your client in all aspects of the project, and sticking with it when unforeseen circumstances get in the way or a project goes past a deadline.