How to avoid

client disappointment

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Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

No one likes a know it all, someone who overpromises but subsequently fails to deliver, or something offered that seems too good to be true. If you are holding yourself up to public scrutiny by your clients, prospects, peers or suppliers, you must be sure that you can meet their expectations and won’t instead leave them feeling worried, angry, let down or hurt.

People can handle the truth

In business, our policy has always been honesty. Because as Mark Twain so beautifully said: “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.” And let’s face it, we’ve all encountered people who say they’ll get something done by a certain date and then fail to do so. We think it’s because they want to please, but in our minds, we know it’s better to be realistic than to get a client’s hopes up, only to then dash them later.

Here are a few examples to highlight why being realistic, honest, accessible and a good communicator are key to great business collaborations.

When working with our clients, we usually give a date, which has a buffer of time built in, so we know we can easily achieve it. This means our clients are happy and sometimes, if we can deliver early, they are utterly delighted.

We take the time to get to know people and want prospective clients to do their due diligence before engaging us. We encourage them to see what others have said about our work independently via Google and Yell.com or we can put them in touch with some of our clients for their feedback.

Our proposals are fair and detailed, ensuring clients can understand our processes, how we work, their responsibilities, and what they are paying for and why. This means that there is no room for confusion later.

We know our worth and value the time and energy it has taken us to gather our skill, knowledge and expertise. We would never charge a high fee and then if challenged by the client reduce it by a huge percentage so we can get the work.

There is no chance we would entice you into a ‘get rich quick scheme’ or anything a bit ropey. We don’t believe in strong-arming anyone or coercing people to do something they don’t want to do, or which has no benefits.

We appreciated the fact that not everyone is our client. Some people won’t like us. Some people might want to work with other designers. We are fine with that. We will never bad mouth you or discuss you behind your back if you decide to go elsewhere.

If something goes wrong with your project, regardless of whose fault it is, we’ll be right beside you helping to sort it out. We will never leave you high and dry, we want to make sure you are happy and that we have done everything we can to support you.

Mark Twain said “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”

Collaboration is important

We don’t claim to know everything, or always have the perfect solution. We are not flawless experts in every aspect of the projects we work on. But that’s why we use specialist partners for marketing, print, web development, SEO etc., as it allows us to stick to the design and project management – subjects we are expert in. This means when we don’t know something, there's a straightforward way for us to find out and come back to the client with the right answer (or answers of course).

So, you know what we’re not, but what about what we are? We are trustworthy, respectful, approachable, professional and of course honest. This could be why we have lots of loyal clients, some of whom have been with us since the beginning and many who are happy to refer us or provide us with amazing testimonials and reviews. They know that when they engage with us, there is zero risk. That’s because we guarantee clients will be 100% satisfied with the outcome of their project when working with Pixooma and our trusted partners.

Next time you think that you can’t admit you don’t know something and are tempted to just come up with some bluster to cover your tracks, remember this entertaining video combining real politicians and clips from the political satire ‘The Thick of it'.

We find that honesty is the best policy, afterall no one wants to get caught out like comedy creation Peter O'Hanraha-hanrahan, from the classic spoof current affairs programme, 'The Day Today'…

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