Three Ways to Deal with Nightmare Design Clients

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Three Ways to Deal with Nightmare Design Clients

With the resurgence of appreciation for good design, having a few irate clients is par for the course for those who want to increase their portfolio of projects. Varying exposure to design agencies contributes to the attitudes of clients.

However, agencies still have to be committed to winning as much pitches as they could, no matter how much of a nightmare these clients could be towards them. As they say, if you can’t take the heat, you have to get out of the kitchen and when it comes to doing business as a design agency, this is just part of the recipe of success.

You can use 3D rendering to help diffuse tension when presenting to a difficult client.

You can use 3D rendering to help diffuse tension when presenting to a difficult client. (photo courtesy of imagerymajestic via

But what’s an agency, especially those starting out in the business, to do? Here are some ways to manage demanding and not so nice clients:

1.     Be nice

It’s easy to give up or worse, be just as irate. But just like handling customer complaints, the worst thing to do is to be just as impatient and use fire to deal with fire. Try to understand where the client is coming from. Did they deal with an agency before that did not deliver thus the trust issues? Did they overspend in other areas of business and may be they cannot express how to ask for lower rates? These things plus more play a role in a client’s psyche.

Doing background research easily solves this problem. Also, getting advice from their other third party contractors helps a lot. Is there a person that can be the gateway to their business? This may be the bridge to win their trust.

2.     Explain the process

For those who have not hired a design agency, the whole process can be very daunting and intimidating. The bidding process is not for the faint of heart. To help clients, explain the process. Show GANNT charts. Provide actual design outputs for other projects such as 3D rendering designs and blue prints. This will allay their fears and show that the process is easy and you are the person or agency that will put their plans into motion.

Stop using industry terms during the presentation but if you must, explain it properly and its implications in the whole project. It’s easier for people to say yes to things that they understand always.

3.     Show proof

Design agencies must never try to belittle their fees just to win business but they have to be responsible as well for clients’ money. They should be able to show proof that the amount of money they will invest will pay off in the end or at least offer savings in terms of operations. Initial investments for going green may be high but a simple computation as to how it can help save on bills is much appreciated, especially by clients who are still starting in the industry.

If they have problems, show how the agency can resolve it such as substandard work for example. In the end, they will be at ease, and see a worthy partner for their vision.

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