Client satisfaction is one of the most important measures of a successful business. Here, at iFactory, we pride ourselves, not only in the work we produce but also our successful customer relationships.
The push and pull of the creative process, however, sometimes poses a risk to satisfaction. Clients often are bound by logical concerns and considerations. Designers have a natural desire to push boundaries and can easily feel judged or constrained.
We have found that the best way to work for a client is to work with a client.
The key is collaboration.
In many cases, those who work in client facing roles have been taught that the “client is always right.” Downstream, the designer is often expected to simply comply with requests. When this happens, the designer has no voice in the process causing their expertise, knowledge and strategic input to be limited.
Oftentimes designers pour so much time and effort into their work with out considering asking the client for feedback along the way. The designer may go in a direction the client wasn’t expecting, thus spending resources on work that isn’t right for the project.
In contrast, working with the client is different (*ahem* better) in many ways. Both parties find common ground and are part of the creative process. Any issues are worked through with ample time and a strategic approach. This is a feedback-driven process, which focuses on collaboration.
The client and designer are equally important to the design process.
By pulling the client into the design process the client is better able to make informed decisions. Likewise, the designer is better to able to understand the context and requirements for the work.
Designers oftentimes have a unique perspective to solving problems. It’s important for them to share their perspective in order for their work to maintain its integrity, and, ultimately, produce what is in the client’s best interest.
Working with the client can also have some speed bumps. Too much collaboration can lead to a much longer, more drawn out process. Although it’s good to tackle problems together, sometimes letting the designer take the reins can lead to a more efficient outcome.
Successfully collaborating means satisfaction all around.
It’s important for both the design team and the client to be a part of the process in order for both parties to feel satisfied and proud of the work they accomplish. By working with each other, we can create outcomes that are truly innovative, highly collaborative, and are able to meet our goals.
Alex is a former design co-op for iFactory. When she’s not designing, you can find her trying to become a yoga guru, participating in video competitions, or rapping along to the notorious B.I.G.