Clients. Clients. Clients. What kind of designers who haven’t tired of hearing it? Back then, the word ‘client’ was knitted together with ‘doctor’, ‘disease’, etc. Clients are subjected as a person in a hospital and taken medication. But then the status quo gets flipped. Nowadays, clients (either as a person or a terminology) can be easily associated with the creative industry, where designers and artists play a big role in it. Then there, clients are no longer depicted as someone with illnesses, more than that, clients are somebody with problems, in a larger, broader context. Regarding that fact, we finally have 12 common behaviors of clients in a creative agency. This particular shifting of meaning, speculatively, has the bottom line out of the formidable use of the internet and digital of things.
“People won’t see a doctor if they’re caught by influenza, but Google.”
No wonder millennials choose learning software and stuffs because they smell dollars on it. Scared not, it simply indicates that ‘internet product’ provides easier access to solve problems. The Internet is a way out to attain comprehensive information at no cost. And that basically is what the clients need. Since the internet acts as our caretakers, which is a bit naïve to say so, then shall we worry more?
Consumed by untrustworthy content is another nightmare you don’t want to imagine. Therefore, aside from credible information, a well-made blueprint of visual design is needed. This very thing should have been done by developers and designers altogether, as the end place to determine a content has a worth to see or not.
Compared with seeing and understanding, designing is on a different level. To create an informative, effective interface for clients (re: internet users) need a million trials and errors. Maybe, you’ve understood this trouble if you happen to be a designer.
In contrast, a client bitterly seeks for a result, with faster-better quality, as if nature for them to have such demand, pleasing everyone all of the time. Another bitter truth: they won’t give a sh*t whether you’re not experienced or certified after undergoing worldwide company’s projects or whatsoever. Clients egotistically don’t investigate your curriculum vitae, and sometimes it seems like they just want to mess around, really. Dictating. Difficult. Deranged. Nothing’s better to describe them.
RRGraph, though just covers the PowerPoint market, is no different from another design agency in which they are expected to run disagreements and doubt about things they do. Heck, we can’t ignore such bizarre, unless we’re willing to face more problems.
There are many types of people, and we can’t force everyone to be the one type we prefer. We think that everything is still under control, with such exceptions until our clients show up the red flag. Often, it’s flourished by unpleasant attitudes like public shaming, personal insults, payment refusal, and so on. Ok. Enough for complaining. Because regardless of our life is so umami, it’ll still throw us a lemon at some points, hence we always need to get ready.
We won’t keep our experiences alone, here you can check 12 common behaviors of clients we grapple with:
1. Clients who think before they move
Just by looking at our portfolio and profile, this kind of client already knows what to expect. They either use our service for genuine intention (seminars, meetings) or they will resell our works to another client. Those resellers we called as a 3rd party. And is a quite common method in businesses. Nonetheless, most importantly, they acknowledge where the order gets through, and this affects as a way to measure the quality and estimation of our works.
Since this kind of client knows what’s their order for, simultaneously they can compensate for work that takes more time or one that should be quickly done. Typically, once we make good contact, they have a habit to come back to use our service and be the long last one.
A design agency will need those who are loyal with its service to keep everything running in-line, that can’t otherwise be run, but by this client category.
2. Clients who geographically not too far from us
Since our industry runs on the internet, handling clients who live abroad has become a new normal. Yet, to be frank, we still find it difficult to get in touch with those living in a different continent. Let’s say America. Do you know how far are we from them?
Not too far, we only need to drill the Earth’s crust, to the core, and get into its opposite part. It’s not that far that when it is 8 a.m. on the 4th of July, they’re still living at 8 p.m. on the 3rd of July. Working in contrasted hours with our lovely American clients makes us think double through the process. This is what they usually say, “We want our presentation to finish when we wake up tomorrow.” At the same time, there’s another presentation order from Singaporean client, whose country is neighboring us, and he too needs the project urgently. If this occurs, who the hell do we have to prioritize first? We hope we can find a better scheduling system to overcome this time differentiation.
You might be wrong to think it’s better to live in the round-shaped Earth, because we think it is better to live in the flat one.
3. Clients who don’t know how much money in their pocket
This one is the silliest in the list. Our service ranges at $3/slide, meanwhile our ready-use template is $15/item. Imagine if there’s this guy who wants to redesign 100 PowerPoint slides and what he’s got is just $50.
Afterward, which is pretty common, this one client will start arguing about our price. He uses his words like he deserves to get the best result with the cheapest cost. This kind of client is so tricky. Hitherto we frequently, negatively make clear that they just hit us for the sake of doing price comparison. We have no problem with that. Still, you may check in the whole internet world, and we promise that the average price you get in PowerPoint sort of agency will be around $15-$19/slide! And again, if we meet this one client category, they’ll still be obstinate to do such pointless negotiation.
We need a clue: How can they have tremendous stamina to bargain while they don’t even know how to count their own money?!
4. Clients who know to whom they will speak to
They have a background as a seminar speaker, a lecturer, a workshop facilitator, and some sort who face the audience directly. For a professional speaking career, it is obvious that they acquire reputation, connection, content, and foundation for a presentation’s technique.
Figuring that we’re not keen on public speaking, then once they pull the feedback, it’ll eventually benefit us. At some points, their feedback gets pretty harsh, they throw criticism like, “Why do you apply those vector icons? Why is the font so small? My audience won’t be able to see them!” In a simpler scenario, our designers will possibly imagine like they have to present in front of a human, not a computer and its software. Then there their design concept will have more humanistic-approach.
We sometimes need cruel yet constructive comments, rather than adorations which can lead us nowhere.
5. Clients who hesitate to hit us on holiday
Living in tropical islands meaning that we have never ceased out of summertime. This leads us to wonder how seasonal breaks have shifted our clients’ habits. If they don’t tell, or when we’re just too lazy to reach them, we’ll never know in case their company is hibernating in winter or taking a jet plane to Hawaii in summer. To us, there’re moments of not-knowing to be doing in days we get if you have such a long weekend.
With the assumption that they’re still on holiday, we have a gut not to ruin it. And they might as well have the same gut. Don’t get it wrong, Mr. and Mrs. who think that we have the same holiday periods as yours, because we don’t.
To every client in this category, keep in mind, it’s totally fine to contact us at that particular time.
6. Clients who love discussing their project
Sharing is caring. Once in a blue moon, there’s a client that openly discusses their project with us. They don’t see us merely as a designer, but more like a business partner. When it comes to privacy, they don’t distance us with their data. And everyone shall too because we guarantee the data of our clients with safety.
On the plus side, we can learn new pieces of stuff within the scope we design. If you’re a doctor, tell us the way you handle a patient, if you’re a fashionista, tell us about the recent clothing trends. If you want us to process the order in a jiffy, you better not be hoping for an awesome outcome. Preferably, we love doing something that takes more time, and yet, in returns are more valuable.
In order to have an ongoing relationship with businesses, we shall trust each other, right? No one really knows if a better opportunity will come after all.
7. Clients who give vague instruction
There’s this one speaks with hesitation, in a manner like bearing late-night anxiety, and can’t think clearly. Often, this client gives a complex, indirect want. For instance, they can be caught giving this a mere instruction, “Can you make my presentation with pop style?”
My fellas, this client wants the pop style! By the definition, Urban Dictionary describes Pop as horrible “music” in which teenage girls age 13 and up sing about the hardships of love, they don’t write their own songs, nor music, and there’re no real instruments, just a repetitive and chaotic electronic beat in the background with the girl constantly going, “Ooooh ooooh! Oh woah woah woah woah, heee heeeeya-ya! Ooooh baby!” in between verses. Imagine if we make a design concept based on that super-multi-interpreted guideline, just imagine. It’s arguably a common behavior of clients that are so weary.
Similar to the previous client category, this client is also keen to share their knowledge. Yet, the big difference is, everything they say is as clear as mud.
8. Clients who do us for granted
A project can go very smoothly until a client pushes for a refund. They claim that our work can’t satisfy them. However, no one really knows what’s inside one’s head. Do they really mean their dissatisfaction? Or they just want to take us for granted?
For a service-based business, this mediocre practice is a common practice that needs to detect and avoid. The more this spoiled client delves with our business, the weirder they ask, and it possibly whelms controversy inside the team. Without pretense, we’re all don’t want to work 40 hours a week to be that poor for servicing them.
Thus, we must remember this saying in our head, “It’s better to starve alone than deal with clients who take the food right off your plate.”
9. Clients who appear-disappear of a sudden
The next common behavior of clients is: ghosting. They shutdown communication with us without notice. Regarding this categorical client, they give another revision after a month we deliver the final result. It’s showing that they don’t care about their project that much, hence they straightly accept our work without re-checking it, and reveal some errors all the while before presenting it.
As commonly happens, we’ll undergo another project in the meantime. By sending critical info at the last minute, meaning that they break our timeline. And whenever we schedule calls for discussion, they reluctantly miss it. We’re getting old in the face, every day there’s another new line, and this ghostlike client just worsens the condition.
We never forget a client’s order, but in this case, we will be glad to make an exception.
10. Clients who precisely crave perfection
PowerPoint is often seen as trash, an application that is impossible to showcase fascinating visual effects. Frankly, that is, and is regarding its limited function as a tool to ease a presentation deliverance, not to create animation and graphic design in general.
Still, there’re people who choke us with a hell of qualifications. Handling them, we can’t get a slight flaw in our design. They steer us through its tiny details that must have finished perfectly. For example, they want their presentation with morph, gradation, overlay, and another cool effect. Oddly enough, often they actually don’t know what they talk about.
Well, probably they’re just caught by imposter syndrome as a newcomer in the design graphic world.
11. Clients with tons of references to apply
Reference isn’t an instruction. Clients who send us to design preferential can help us to create a breakthrough whilst researching their brand’s identity. They acknowledge that the creative process takes energy, inspiration is hard to get, and ideas are difficult to visualize. Sometimes they give us references out of their competitors, the ones who run the same business model with them.
“I want something like Apple!” It might sound surreal for us to copy what Apple has done, however, at least, this client knows a sort of product to adapt. Heretofore, we’re not being skeptical with them, because in another meaning they simply want to implement minimalist and futuristic concepts within their presentation design.
Now let’s do promotional stuff. Do you want something like Apple? We’ll make it happen!
12. Clients who passively so aggressive
The day couldn’t start off any better with sunshine and green tea. Sorry, that’s a metaphor. Sunshine and green tea are great, but, have you ever received a very sweet compliment that can make you fly to cloud nine?
This last client category is really good at it. They say they believe in our works and know our worth. “You’re so genius, please do me a favor with this and that and blah blah blah.” They’re not truthfully saying so, and based on our experience, they’ll whine about the final result. Those sayings are just a shadow to hide another intention.
Use your instinct, two-faced clients are everywhere. To overcome it, we need one and the only thing they can provide, that is their absence.
In conclusion, we’re not trying to educate you. And no matter how hard we implement the right strategy to transform our common behaviors of clients, bad things are still inescapable. More than five years on, we finally understand the service will fail if it doesn’t carry its value with it. This value should go with the client’s energy, and the way we acquaint that sort of value is by making a handshake for agreement. “We want something from you, and you want something from us”. Because, at the end of the day, that’s a very economic principle in which any kind of business needs to hold.