How To Work With Icy Clients

In the world of design consulting, oftentimes you will work with clients, who frankly, are a pain in the asterisk. However, there are things you can do to minimize the pain, miscommunication, and likelihood of forest fires. Here are a few - 

  1. Be kind. As the client, you have an obligation to be respectful, courteous, and professional at all times. You may profoundly disagree with the firm, but you can remain polite. And more importantly, be patient - let them fully explain themselves and their reasoning. You may be misunderstanding them, so let them freely and openly discuss their visions. 
  2. Be clear. When is the first payment due? When will the designs be mailed by? When will the final decision be made? Be crystal clear about what will happen, when it will happen, and who will be involved. Avoid letting people push you around by creating hard deadlines and specific expectations. Formal communication via email will also provide evidence of the decisions that were made and when. Make it clear and there is less room to wiggle and push the red tape. 
  3. Be confident. Sometimes clients are difficult because they rat and spat on every design you come up with. If you believe in your work, you may be able to clearly communicate to them why this interface would improve their sales and SEO. You are the designer - they are not. Be able to explain yourself and back up your designs with theory and best practice principles. 

There you have it - a few tips for dealing with icy or difficult clients. Many designers have dealt with tedious clients, and lived to tell, and learn. Above all, keep your head up, defend your work, and speak with clarity, confidence, and compassion. The pixels will take care of themselves. 

XOUX.