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Client Interaction

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by clord, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. clord

    clord Member

    I was talking to someone the other day about design and an interesting topic came up. It was loosely based around the democratizing of design due to advances in technology etc. But something that came from this, was a question about the sole interaction with clients over the web as the only means of communication.

    There are many companies now that work from abroad and only communicate with their clients through email and possibly phone. To me, this has the possibility of hindering the effectiveness of the projects meaning, aim and creative direction.

    For example: You email through 10 logo concepts. They open the file and make an immediate judgement of which ones they like without your intellectual input. Before you have a chance to offer explanations of why things are done and what they mean, your client has made an uninformed decision on which logo works best. So in this example, the break down in communication can effect the direction and outcome of the project as the client has already made his/her mind up.

    Do you think that 'over the web' projects (in terms of communication with the client), are a possible disservice to design as communication?

    Do any of you communicate with clients solely over the web? Do you think that it is harder to offer a 'bespoke' service to its full potential?
  2. dvduval

    dvduval Junior Member

    In my case, it is a matter of volume. I can handle many more customers in one day using email and other web based communication. I usually avoid IM or the phone, unless I am dealing with a larger customer, and even then I try to get them to put everything in writing to insure clarity on the details of the work.
  3. I feel the same way.

    Email is my preferred means of communication as I can have everything on record and also not have my time monopolised by someone on the phone.

    Some clients do like to phone me with changes. One client had around 40 different changes he wanted me to do to a brochure and sat on the phone with me for about 20 minutes...still, its not my phone bill!
  4. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    I'm not sure if this is a hindrance. In the example you've explained I think it's a particularly effective process. I always set myself a rule of not showing the client something that I'm not happy with, because if you do they usually pick that one!
    As for explanations, I'm not sure that it's always necessary. If the design is effective then explanations are redundant, the design should say everything and more, than you can.

    However, for larger more complicated projects client communication is paramount. I also find email perfect for clear concise communication, sometimes talking over the phone can be counter productive.

    Everyone works differently, designers and clients. It might be a case that clients don't enjoy direct contact?
  5. Xenonsoft

    Xenonsoft Active Member

    I think it can be a hindrance. If you're not talking to someone, be it on the phone or even better face to face, you can't always get exactly what they're wanting.

    Personally, I think it can be fine to go through email, depending on the complexity of the job. It's definitely my preferred way of communicating, but it has limitations (as well as the obvious plus points mentioned).

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