May 6, 2021

Customers and Designers both shape the brand

Client relationships can get tricky when it comes to design. Getting the most important message across can become more challenging than expected, as we can encounter different opinions in collecting customer feedback and dealing with the constant project revisions. But at Helmi Studios, we practice a particular way of communication, which we thrive on and feel is the main reason for our success as a creative brand.

The secret to a strong professional relationship is a solid foundation of mutual respect and open communication. Effective client relationship management happens when our designers come together to understand the clients’ doubts and reservations, and build those into something that will grow with their vision. 

That’s precisely how we work with our creatives too! Helmi designers have a say in every project they work on, because their ideas determine where our brand goes. We make sure we’re a good fit to your project, and so grow together as a brand. The benefit of a strong professional relationship is that it allows us to understand our business and our target audience from all angles.

Just like how the design process requires a strong partnership with clients, the Helmi brand is similarly structured. Our customers and designers both shape the brand. Without them, we wouldn’t exist. These people drive Helmi Studios to success. 

Managing Customer Expectations

Creatives usually spend more time talking to clients at the beginning of the project. This is because it takes a lot of time and information to understand what the client needs, and to have a mutual understanding on how to execute those design goals. These expectations are agreed upon at the start of the client relationship and developed over time as the process builds rapport.

This is why designers must be clear and upfront about their strengths and weaknesses. Honesty helps prospective clients understand each designer’s expertise, so they can also handle their expectations about the craft.

At Helmi, we set the tone when working with small brands and entrepreneurs. We emphasize that they must work together with our designers, because everyone’s feedback affects the output. Projects often fail when there is a disconnection between the customer’s goals and what they get in the end. Right from the start, these goals should be guided and addressed feasibly for everyone involved. At Helmi, we always want to set clear goals and continuously keep the customer in the loop throughout the design process.

Bad design often doesn’t reflect a designer’s skills. As long as designers manage client expectations, we believe that they can have successful client relationships. Even as we have complete trust in our designers’ craft, we still remind them to always value feedback from the small brands they handle.

Our Process

No one can deny the importance of client relationships, especially in the marketing and advertising industries. If we don’t uphold open communication with our design projects, we risk the design’s failure, and more importantly, the client relationship.

Helmi’s art of communication involves getting our audience to understand what we’re trying to say. We’ve spent a lot of time researching and understanding the design work needed by the small brands and entrepreneurs that we work with. We’ve found that the best way to make our products stand out is by giving our clients something remarkable and personalized, and a key technique to achieving that is through brand questionnaires and mini-courses for our clients.

If designers have already planned everything for the design, there will be no place for the client’s input anymore, making the project one-sided and non-collaborative. To keep this from happening, we regularly create and send estimates to clients since this engages more positive feedback. Helmi always goes the extra mile. We love to provide clients with what they’re looking for, and adding something we think they’d want—like freebies!

Communication Tips

With everything said, a designer’s focus is to answer the questions “What should I do to keep my customers coming back?” and “How do I make them happy?” Designers should put themselves in their clients’ shoes, and try to understand what they want and what engages them.

It will always be the clients who will decide if they want to work with designers again. Here’s a quick list of communication tips that have helped Helmi designers build strong client relationships!

  1. Patience

Someone patient doesn’t allow themselves to get too emotional when encountering negative feedback. They are more focused on understanding the client’s background to effectively deliver the project they have in mind, instead of jumping straight to figuring out how to meet their needs.

  1. Honesty

Entrepreneurs and designers must be honest throughout the process. Designing is a long process that involves a lot of back-and forth discussion, so it’s best to communicate questions, roadblocks, and progress truthfully. Having the confidence to admit faults shows that you’re willing to clear up confusion and maintain transparency with your brand. Even if you’re the best designer or brand owner out there, there will be situations when you don’t know the answer to something. Remember that honesty is a value where you’re likely to earn your team’s trust.

  1. Proactivity

Be proactive in providing updates on the design’s progress with your clients. The goal should be to save time for more important things, and build trust in your brand’s commitment to resolving matters. Maintaining a steady flow of communication also lessens the client’s uncertainties.

  1. Product knowledge

No matter what you do for a living, your core goal is to understand every aspect of your products or services. You should be able to communicate that information well so your customers can feel confident in their choices. If your potential and existing custom­ers aren’t giving you the feedback you want, it could be because you’re not speaking their language.

  1. Active listening

We live in a world where we are constantly communicating. Companies bombard customers with information, advertisements, and shiny new products. Listening is an ability that’s becoming more and more limited. So when it comes to your clients, nothing is more important than making them feel heard. The only way to break through this noise in the world is by actively listening to their concerns.

The European tradition of craftsmanship upholds that design is a complex, multidimensional process involving a dialogue between two highly talented parties: the customer and the designer. For the customer, design is all about how it interacts with their business needs and goals. For the designer, it’s about marking out a solution that they can deploy into the client’s business space and create something extraordinary. No matter the situation, both customer and designer must combine these two views to reach a successful outcome.

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