Working with Clients
Interacting with clients is an essential part of any web developers job. How you interact with a client can make or break your business. If people don’t like the way you talk to them or treat them, they will not recommend your business to anyone else or work with you in the future. However, if they DO like the way you talk with them and treat them, they will likely refer you to other people and be more likely to work with you in the future.
Tips for Working with Clients
Since this may be your first time working with a client, we have put together some tips for handling the developer / client relationship that might be helpful to you over the next few days.
- Listen up!
- Actively listening to your client’s needs and wants will be critical to your successful development of their website. Be sure that you really understand what your client wants from their website and try to deliver on that.
- Help your client understand the work you are doing together and the decisions you make when developing their website. Explain to them how things work if they are curious, share the knowledge you have gained about web development with them. If a client is making unreasonable requests, gently and kindly explain to them why that request may not be possible to implement at this time.
- Show respect.
- It is very important that you show respect for the client and the work you are doing. Blocking out your teammates with headphones, arguing with your team or client, or refusing to contribute to the project are all unacceptable actions. Remember that this is a job you are completing for someone who has basically hired you to do this work for them.
- Be productive.
- In this particular instance, WebSlam is a lot of fun – but there is also a lot of work to be done. Make good use of your time on Friday and Saturday to be sure you can complete the job and build a full website in a day and half. It’s good to have fun, but goofing around and wasting time is not okay.
- Be friendly & have fun!
- This is perhaps the most important tip in the whole list! You want to present a positive attitude and show your client that you are here to work with them in a kind way. Having fun while working can make the whole experience very positive for both you and your client. Bonus Tip: A smile can go a long way!
Questions for Clients
Here is a list of questions that you should ask a potential client before you start working with them to design and setup a website:
- What is your organization’s mission/purpose?
- What are your top three goals for your website?
- Who is your website’s audience? Why do they visit your site?
- What do you love about your current website? What do you dislike about your current website?
- What features on other websites do you like?
- List three websites that you love the design of.
- Does your organization have specific colors it would like to use? Specific fonts?
- Does your organization have any digital assets that should be included, like pictures or logos?
Activity: Practice Meeting Client Needs
Goals for this Activity
- Understand appropriate ways to communicate and interact with a client
(You should work with a partner on this exercise):
- Take a moment and pretend that you have a local non-profit that would like you to create a website for them, answer each of the questions in the previous section pretending to be the client.
- Now, pretend that you have a local theatre that would like you to create a website for them, how would their answers to the same questions be different?
- Create a sitemap for the theatre website using Popplet.
- Write a blog post about how the two sites are different and how they are the same.