We all know that our world and our society are changing very fast, this also applies to us in the design community. Above all, the way we look at customer relations has changed from ”client-supplier" to "from one expert to another". Gone are the days when we designers thought we had all the solutions and would lecture the client. In order to make this new kind of relationship work and bring out the expert in each other, we need to ask ourselves the question: How is our customer?
As people are most…
Just "different" is an important aspect as we tend to assume that everyone is like ourselves.
We need to define the type of customer we work with in this particular project, is it a?
Client 1, ”The Pro”
Experienced and used to making decisions. "The pro" can see things in front of him and her, being strategic.
Client 2 ”Everyone onboard”
Wants to anchor everything with the rest of the organization. Feel free to take input from everyone, and is detail-oriented.
Client 3 ”I know it already”
Knows what to do and already has a clear picture of the result.
Client 4 ”The freshman”
Positive but has an inexperienced expectation of the process, delivery and how to involve relevant stake-holders. All over the place.
We all recognise these different kinds of clients, and there are most probably a couple of more variants. Once you have defined which client you work with and who decides, you can move forward in the process. This creates a security and opportunity for open communication that lays the foundation for a successful strategic partnership - as in cooperation, low prestige and commitment.
Together we complement and learn from each other right up to the end goal. As the experts (client/agency) we are, we have a prototype-oriented approach where we test our thoughts. We discuss, make decisions and constantly evaluate what can be improved with consumer insight and facts. We create a non-linear process that is tailored to suit the specific client type. This process creates clear expectations in what is to be delivered and when. It also combines an insight-driven and iterative approach where the client is included all the way from insight and strategy, to identity and fantastic design solutions.
When great people with different skills, personalities and backgrounds come together and bring their different expertice together, great experts becomes even greater.