A Brief Introduction
We all know how temperamental creative types can be, well here we let one of our creative designers have a bit of fun describing how they engage with the different client types they come across. For our clients out there if you recognise any of the traits mentioned please take it in the spirit it was intended! On that note we will let Moses do his thing.
TYPES OF Clients: 101
All organisations, big or small, encounter different types of clients through their respective working calendars. In order to help people like you and I from disliking each other I have created a dynamic system, which should help create a more harmonious relationship between designers and you the client in the future. In this system I classify clients categorically into groups, with useful tips on how to deal with them (solution). Hopefully it will be a useful guide on how to differentiate and deal with different types of clients effectively.
1.” THE PERFECT CLIENT ” – CLIENT
VERY RARELY will you get to encounter these fabled creatures, but I tell you, they exist. These are clients who actually sought professional advice, that is tailor made to them. These clients are helpful, grateful and open to constructive criticism as well as willing to give it right back. Very rarely will you have a problem with them, to the point of disbelief even.
DO your JOB and enjoy the moment, on that note I will leave you with a world famous unicorn quote.
2.” THE WHAT DO I PAY YOU FOR! ”- CLIENT
These Clients are featured very prominently in the working world and are probably the most common clients you will ever meet. At first glance, they seem harmless and somewhat cooperative. Do not be fooled! These clients never ask for what they want, and in fact as a testing mechanism, they provide you with minimalistic details and very few guidelines to work with. This is all part of their plan to lure you into their o so famous “what do I pay you for!” rant.
Do not ever let your guard down! IT’S A TRICK!!! Bombard them with overwhelming amounts of information (its relevance is up for debate), just so that they do not have something to come back to you with except ACTUAL details that will ACTUALLY help get the ACTUAL work done.
3.” THE PANEL” or “LET ME GET BACK TO YOU” – CLIENT
These are your more seasonal types of clients and can be uniquely defined by their unparalleled lack of decision making that obviously leads to a distinct lack of progress. They will make you feel like you have achieved nothing, but at the same time, drained. A powerful combination! Tread lightly young paddle wan, for these clients are notorious for their grandiose workloads and plans with 0-10% actual feedback (notice the lack of ‘constructive’). In order to achieve anything you have to wait through what seems to be a ‘thorough’ breakdown of information, from a phantom ‘team’ to tell you “we don’t like it, fix it”…DO NOT LOSE YOUR COOL, there’s a solution.
Legalities aside I find that being patient is very key with these clients. Patiently making sure you sieve through the unnatural amount of irrelevant information in order to achieve what you are working towards is how you deal with these clients. Offer constructive criticism towards their ‘process’: it may not solve the immediate problem, but it at least creates awareness that there is a problem in their operations.
4.” THE ALIBI ” – CLIENT
These clients are THE WORST…if you have been in the industry long enough, you will have encountered these ‘clients’. These are the type of clients that will demand work, unapologetically. They are strict and unforgiving, but when the storm has passed and you have cleared the work, there is always a convenient excuse as to why “we cannot pay…” or “we cannot launch yet…”
…they are truly a frustrating lot.
RELENTLESSLY AND UNAPOLOGETICALLY pursue the path of justice. NEVER FALTER. BE STRONG. Hopefully they will learn something from their interaction with you.
“It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.”
5.” THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY” – CLIENT
These clients are only known through hindsight: they were clients that you could deal with in the sense that, the good greatly outweighed the bad. Sad story really, because the real problem with these clients is you will only appreciate them once they have gone in their own direction.
There is no shame in accepting ones mistakes, for it is NOT ALWAYS the clients fault. Chin up, enjoy a drink or two and move on with the knowledge that you should not make the same mistakes with other clients. For the sake of the future, work on correcting whatever mistakes you made. It is the only way to prevent yourself from losing such clients again in the future.
Moses Chege – Graphic Designer