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Educate Your Clients

Earlier this week I spent some time with a small design group, who while striving to deliver their finest work, were continually being pushed to cut corners. Clients always wanted more for less.

One way to combat this --- or at least minimise the incidence of it happening --- involves better educating our clients. They need to know how to work with us, what to expect and why we do what we do.

Let's look at it from a different position, using our Swedish friends at IKEA to demonstrate.

Love them or hate them, IKEA have built a vast business based on good design at great prices. Part of how they keep their prices down could well be their undoing, were it not for the fact they keep their customers well educated.

In their catalogues and throughout their stores they explain why the checkout queues are so long (low staff numbers/self-service systems); why everything needs assembling at home (flat pack is cheaper to ship and takes up less storage space) and why you have to push the trolley to the car yourself.

And it works. Customers come in droves and knowing what to expect and why, don't complain ... well, until a leg drops off.

The same kind of education can be applied in the opposite scenario, the one where charges and fees are necessarily high.

In many cases clients push on price with no knowledge of what you actually do for them. Tell them. Show them. Educate them.

And if they still push, I'd show them the door.

Thoughts? Feedback? Let me have it.

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