As website developers, it goes without saying that we need to know a lot about our own industry if we want to be successful. Whether it’s W3C, Google, HTML 5, CSS3, or jQuery, it’s important to know what’s new on the Internet.
But the more basic and general business ethics that can really keep your customers on your side are often overlooked. Giving following enough thought can make your working relationship stronger and relieve some of the stress you’re used to.
Meet Your Deadlines
Setting realistic deadlines will allow you to efficiently manage not only your client’s expectations, but also your own workload. Multiply your best guess for how long a project will take by three. This may sound pricey, but it will cover delays and please your client if you fulfil the deadline early. Let’s face it: nobody wants to pull an all-nighter to complete a project on time.
Communication, communication, and communication!
Communication is crucial when it comes to handling your clientele. Any form of communication is preferable, whether it’s to report on progress, share bad news, or warn of impending disaster.
Make sure you can be reached at all times during the day. It’s a common pitfall for web designers to labor nonstop and rely on an answering machine to field client calls. Your client will become aggravated if they can’t reach you when it’s convenient for them, which will slow down the project and damage your relationship.
Learn the Client’s Trade
As a web designer, you will frequently find yourself performing work for a client in an industry in which you have little to no knowledge or experience. This should not imply that you rely only on your client’s direction. Do some study on the sector to demonstrate initiative. Peruse the websites of your client’s competitors to gain a foundational understanding.
This will not only help you pick up on industry concepts and jargon, but it will also enable you to offer your customer solid business advice from an outside perspective, which will always wow them.
Describe Your Work
Once your prototype designs are complete, do not simply send them to your client as a JPEG. Construct an HTML functioning prototype in Photoshop, which will just take a few minutes, but will allow the client to visualize how the website will appear on the web, complete with rollovers and flash.
Ensure that you have the customer on the phone when you email the link so that you can explain your decisions regarding colors, layouts, calls to action, etc. If you fail to do so, you will be forced to make unneeded adjustments in the future.
Taking care of the aforementioned aspects of your management will substantially improve your working connection with your client, and even if there are problems, they will be more understanding of them and begin to have a higher opinion of web designers!