Communicating with clients

Question for individual/freelance graphic designers - What are your biggest pain points when it comes to communicating and working with clients? Do you have any particular problems with email or the software you use? What features would you want with a chat app when working with clients?

Entirely depends on the client and the job at hand. It is the same as communicating with anyone, you tailor your approach, person to person to get the best from them. Client liaison is no different. It’s about building a relationship.

^Sprout has it right with respect to personal approach and effectiveness, but I sense your question was as much about “vehicles”.

Email is a pretty stable platform nowadays in terms of its operation, and I’d say the same about text messaging and other forms of chat. So software isn’t a problem; the mistake to avoid is over-reliance. While it’s often important that certain exchanges are in writing, so as to produce a record of what was “said,” a client relationship that’s all or almost-all typed will surely suffer a miscommunication at some point. It’s safe if not prudent to assume your client won’t be a great writer. And, even if you are one, a lot of people, even educated professionals, read less effectively than they write. That’s because when we write, we at least endeavor to “hear” ourselves saying what we’re writing, whereas when we read, it can be nearly impossible to prevent the activity from becoming “motor function”.

I myself am not “highly educated,” having opted for military service rather than academic pursuit, but these days I work daily for and with people who are so thoroughly schooled that their apparent intelligence is often intimidating when first met. But over time, email exchanges often expose gaps in their communication skills. Writing is typically weak to adequate, but even those who write impeccably will eventually exhibit reading deficiencies, clearly having missed something that was plainly written earlier in the thread.

So the point of all that is, don’t undervalue verbal and face-to-face communication. Body language and inflection provide an additional layer of expression that makes understanding, and misunderstanding, so much easier to detect. And, the wrap-up of a verbal exchange provides a much more effective platform to confirm mutual understanding than any form of remote send/receive process can provide.

For me, the most challenging part of communicating with clients is communicating enough without communicating too much. Each client or stakeholder of a project, needs a different amount and style of communication :slightly_smiling_face:

My hunch is that you’re working on a chat app and fishing for feedback or ideas. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with market research. Honestly, I don’t feel like the current tools are lacking, and I’d be hesitant asking clients to download / install / sign up for another communication app.

Wouldn’t use a chat app.
Everything has gone to FaceTime, GoToMeeting or Zoom as a result of Covid and quite honestly, has become so streamlined so fast, we’re wondering why we all didn’t do it before, LOL.
Anything that requires documentation is followed up with an official email/change order.

I’m just doing research into whether using and paying for a chat app is worth it. I’m getting frustrated with some aspects of email :confused:

For me, the big advantage of email is that you have a paper trail and everything is documented and easily searchable.

By the way, my apologies, I misinterpreted your question with my first answer.

Hi,

  1. The most difficult thing while working with a client who has no clue of technicalities involved in graphic designing and they are super decisive about their project objectives.
  2. Well, when you are working with such a client that sets the above-mentioned hurdles, then “yeah” you can’t rely upon a single email to communicate with your clients. However, if you are lucky that you have a collaborative client then it’s not difficult to discuss your terms with the clients via email.
  3. I use Adobe Illustrator to create logo designs. It’s easy to use, feasible and reliable software as everyone knows. So, no I don’t have any problem with my software.
  4. After lockdown, multiple apps have appeared to smooth the transitions for work from home and these applications have opened the new doors of opportunities for freelancers.

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