When it comes to working in any creative field, such as web design, criticism is all part of the environment. Digital marketing teams working with large clientele numbers will definitely create something unsettled. When that time comes (because it will happen), it is important to know how to handle it and communicate well with them about how to move forward.
If you are a difficult person to deal with constructive criticism, you are not alone. It can be very frustrating to hear that a client does not like the hard work you have done on their project.
Often when a client is dissatisfied, it is due to a lack of proper communication and they do not ask relevant questions in addition to your ability or design ability.
However, just because you did not get it right the first time does not mean you can’t beat it after listening carefully to their needs. Trust us – we have existed before, and we have the advice you need to communicate best with your customers to meet their design needs.
WORKING WITH A CUSTOMER WHO DOESN’T LIKE YOUR CREATION
With many years of experience and marketing, we have had our fair share of times when we did not reach the mark of projects to build our clients in the first attempt.
However, that does not stop us from contacting them so that we can get it right the second time. Thanks to the following communication tips, we can always go back to the drawing board with confidence – and you can too.
FIRST, DON’T TAKE IT YOURSELF
This is very difficult for some to know, but it is important if you want to avoid damaging client relationships. If you let personal feelings get the better of you, your whole conversation will change (not for the better).
It is important to remember that, as a digital marketing expert, your job is to make the client successful. At the end of the day, the design you create is not just for you, it’s for them and their customers.
If they do not like the design or feel that it is not a “high standard,” it does not mean that it is a personal attack on your design skills: You may not fully understand the design requirements.
View this as your opportunity to get better at what the client wants rather than hitting your design skills.
START BY ASKING QUESTIONS
When you realize that your design isn’t going the way you thought it should, you should start by asking the right questions.
Always start by pointing out to the client what is right and what they really like. This will help you not only to understand their style, but also to develop a sense of humor.
Also, if you know what works, you may be able to avoid starting entirely from scratch, saving time and resources for other aspects of the project.
LISTEN FIRST: BE CAREFUL IN ANSWER
Now for the less fun part: Hearing what they don’t like.
It is important that when this point arises in the conversation, do not exclude it. Designers can be arrogant creatures (it’s just our nature), but it’s important to dominate your internal conversation about all the ways your client’s flawed taste so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Watch what your client says. You will often see an exaggerated theme in the things they point out. In some cases, you will find that one piece of design can affect the overall look of the project.
Be an active listener; stay tuned for these articles. These themes will be the client’s elements that your client eventually identifies.
MAINTAIN HIGH QUALITY
As you communicate with your client, try to keep the conversation high. Don’t get too attached to fine details, such as grammar or copying, when a conversation is about design.
While these items are important, they are usually easily repaired and have nothing to do with construction. The client may like your make-up, but is often distracted by things unrelated to the design.
If you find that the conversation is too complicated, try going back to things like color scheme, font selection, or the overall look and feel to get back on track.
REFER TO DESIGN REQUIREMENTS
When in doubt, always refer to the initial design requirements and review them carefully with your client. By going back to the original spec sheet, you’ll be able to more easily identify where you went wrong and if you left key things out that should be in place.
Talk about what the client wanted to get out of the project, and refer to examples of work that they initially gave you to reignite your inspiration when you take another crack at it.
If the client hasn’t provided examples of designs that align with their objectives, now’s a good time to ask for those!
ALWAYS KEEP IT RELATIVE TO GOALS: REVISIT CLIENT BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
While you’re reviewing the design requirements, you may also want to go over the client’s business objectives that they’re hoping to achieve through the design.
What is the goal of the design? What is it meant to do? It might sound contrived, but sometimes this exercise can help your client see things from your point of view, allowing you to maintain the integrity of your design without making drastic changes.
GET BUY-IN: REVIEW CHANGES & EDITS
Before you take another stab at creating your client’s design, always review the requested edits and changes with them. Be as thorough as possible to make sure you understand exactly what’s expected, so you can avoid a third design change request.
Ensure that your client agrees to the changes you suggest before making them, and answer any questions they have regarding these changes so they fully understand what actions you’ll be taking.
GIVE-MORE IS KEY TO CLIENT RELATIONS
As designers, it can be difficult to separate our art from ourselves — even if it is to sell a box of Cheerios.
But by mastering the arts of communication and compromise, you can keep clients happy, successful, and restore confidence in your design capabilities. Remember: Design is art, and art is subjective.
Rather than making it personal, keep it professional by staying cool, calm, and collected when communicating with your clients.