Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Cost Of (Bad) Client Relations.

In response to my "The (Up-Front) Cost Of Design" post on January 20th, Jeff King wrote: "I think it would be interesting to see a follow-up on the net value of your skills and gear if you're unable to create and sustain good relationships with your clients under real-world conditions. I've worked with designers who do incredible work, but I will not hire them anymore because they are consistently unable to meet agreed-upon deadlines."

The reasons for being successful in your chosen field are many-fold but there's only one way to achieve success year after year, project after project, and client after client; remain focused on your client's needs, day in and day out. If you cannot manage to produce the most basic of tasks including, but not limited to, being communicative throughout the process and meeting deadlines, you'll lose clients – regardless of your talent level. And the last time I checked, losing clients doesn't do much for one's net value.

In an era riddled with laziness, apathy and self-entitlement – courtesy, logic and common sense are sadly taking a back seat. This is not merely a symptom of the graphic design vocation, of course, this is society as a whole. Simply because that is the case, however, we need not join the sheep at the trough of irresponsibility. Instead, we need to sustain good relationships with clients via a responsible, courteous and conscientious path based in respect for the other person's stake in the relationship.

That sounds simple and basic, I know, but we humans have a slew of basic, inherent defects – and not caring as much for others as we do ourselves is most definitely one of them.