Do you know how to make your clients happy?
The common answer is simple. Be flexible, friendly and communicate clearly. Offer flexible pricing and try to be reasonable in your timeframes. But, as usual, there is more to it.
Here are my personal 3 principles that guide my collaboration with clients. 1. Simplicity 2. Innovation 3. Transformation. Let me elaborate on each.
I know this will sound like a cliché, but I’m gonna say it regardless. I believe in simple and efficient solutions. The customer’s experience should be as simple and painless as the complexity of the system allows. When a business or NGO chooses to work with a freelancer instead of an agency, it’s usually because of some monetary restrictions. When the budget is too tight and there is no room for wasting our resources, we need to make some sacrifices. Hiring a freelancer comes with some drawbacks but it also saves money and time.
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” —Albert Einstein
From my experience, a quick, straight-to-the-point communication combined with agile processes make the world of difference to my clients. “Working with the agency was like skying on a snowless slope. There was so much friction, everything took longer than it should,” one of my clients complained to me once. He must have been frustrated with his previous, not-so-good experience with the digital agency that he hired to get some work done. Weeks later he was getting more and more disappointed with the internal inefficiencies that halted the progress. “Not every agency is like that,” I told him, “it depends.” I personally think that working with agencies is great and it offers some considerable benefits. But it costs more. And therefore it’s not always suitable for small-to-medium sized businesses that need to move forward quickly, experiment a lot and get small tasks done on a low budget.
Simplicity is often the key. Fewer people means less complexity.
I live and breathe marketing and website technologies. I constantly push myself to innovate. Adopting new cutting-edge technologies too early can be tricky and sometimes risky. However, it helps when one is aware of emerging trends and looks for new creative solutions by discovering ways to improve and extend existing paradigms.
From the client’s perspective, most of these new and exciting, innovative, cutting-edge solutions aren’t interesting unless they provide some extra value to their business. Therefore I compare what I learn against our old solutions to see whether my clients can benefit from them. Why? Because NEW doesn’t always mean BETTER, however, when it does, it can make a big difference.
The third principle revolves around the transformative power of the well-designed solution. When I create something that is better than the previous iteration it transforms the way my clients work, do their business or make money. For example, when I introduced a redesigned user interface (including some UX changes) to my client’s e-commerce website, their sale-conversions went up by 140% in the off-season and by 230% in the high-season period. All this within the very first week after we implemented the changes. That alone had a very transformative effect on their business as now they had to hire instead of fire staff members.
From my experience, I learned that when technology inhibits a coherent flow of information, allows for seamless collaboration or powers user-focused workflows, the magic happens.