Oct 5, 2012

Don’t forget to under-promise and then over-deliver

    Maintaining accuracy in hitting your deadlines is key to a healthy client relationship. Think of the last time you purchased a product online. You wanted to know when to expect delivery, didn’t you? Design clients are no different when it comes to revisions. They depend on you delivering when you say you will. So when you’re unsure how long a task will take to complete, always give the client an estimate that is longer than the amount of time you’re guessing it will take. Why? Because unexpected setbacks can crop up at any time. Think of the computer you work on each day, the Adobe software you use on a regular basis, the Internet connection you pay for, the electricity that powers your office, and your good health.

   All of these necessities are by no means guaranteed, and it almost goes without saying you’ll have a computer problem at one time or another that will affect your productivity. Even if your equipment stays up and running, a human being can let you down. That’s because even the most independent designer relies on others to get the job done.

   When I was hired by Norwegian company Komplett Fitness in 2008, I knew I’d be moving home to Northern Ireland from Scotland one month into our working relationship. By letting my client know about the move at the start of the project, I was able to explain why the design process would take longer than normal. Think of what’s involved when relocating: the installation of a new telephone line and the set-up of an Internet connection, as well as the time and stress involved in packing and unpacking all of my worldly belongings.

   Because my client was aware of the extended time frame, he was happy to accommodate my personal needs. So factor the worst into your delivery time frame, and then impress your client by delivering ahead of schedule when things go smoothly.

source: Logo Design Love [the book], P:134-136