Your customer is never wrong?
The client has sent you a new request.
You apply your skill and experience as best you can, utilising an entire studio resource of expertise to find a solution that lends itself to the brief, highlighting the client’s stipulations and vision.
You’ve nailed it. It’s looks great. Stoked.
The result is concise, stylish and depicts exactly what the client requested. You are very happy; your peers are conclusive in their approval, yet the customer wants to add something extra, they want a change, an element that you didn’t envisage would be a part of your creation.
You are not keen, so you resist, even argue the toss with your client. You don’t want your hard work disfigured by some external influence…it was perfect as it was.
Why can’t they just accept it as it is?! Bah!
Recognise this one?
If you are of any experience in the marketing world, as marketeer, designer or otherwise, you are sure to have come across these stubborn instances at least once over your career.
They can be annoying, demoralising, even occasionally promote resentment in extreme cases… but these situations happen regularly in our line of work and must be dealt with, not only to appease those paying customers, but to maintain confidence and belief in your own or your staff’s ability.
But ask yourself, in this context, is the customer ever actually wrong?
We’d argue no. How can they be? They are, after all, paying the bill.
As service providers, we are there to offer a variety of provisions to our clients, which may range from the application of an in-depth branding refresh or editing a line ending on a business card.
And while we make educated judgements, born of experience and discussion, both scenarios are open to levels of interpretation by individuals involved on both sides of the fence. And probably additional opinions from the folks sat looking over shoulders too.
As creatives, we should be open to suggestion and embrace changes, advising accordingly, even demonstrating where horrors may lurk and attempt to avert a presentation disaster.
Accommodating ‘interferences’ doesn’t demonstrate a lack of integrity in an idea, nor should external influence be looked upon as a negative.
We should understand that parameters alter. We should aim to be apathetic to a customer’s requirements, whenever they may occur. Just like us, they will, and do have changes of tact and thought as projects they manage, develop.
But that sign off is always with the end client.
Accommodating additions is part of any creative journey; being adaptable and flexible will always assist in finding a suitable application, no matter the stage of any project.
Despite the blood, sweat and tears put into a piece of work, being aware of a customer’s interests should, in our book, always trump that certain stubbornness drawn from a personal preference.