Is The Client Always Right?

by Gary on June 25, 2007 · 8 comments

in Website Design

Is the client always right? This question pops up on various websites and most of the times you’ll encounter a resounding “Yes!” The client is paying you for what he or she wants, they say, so do it and be done, get the money and move on. But things are not as simple as that when you are designing websites and you design websites not merely as money-earning activity, but to add value to your clients’ business and branding tools.

Web designing clients can be a big headache sometimes, and especially those who want to dictate terms just because either they can, or they think they’ve got the right idea of how their website must look and function despite having no clue. It rarely happens, but it does happen. Such clients

  • Throw around terms and jargons when you are making your presentation
  • They want their 16-year-old nephew who has a MySpace page to supervise the project
  • They seem to know everything about the Internet and they make you feel as if they are hiring you just because they themselves don’t have the requisite time to develop the website on their own, otherwise they would

Such clients are too savvy for their own good. The conventional wisdom says you wash your hands off the project as politely as possible.

But all “difficult” clients are not like that. Many of them can be turned around and shown the right direction with a torch of conviction. They are simply misguided by the previous web designers or a control freak manager or that brat nephew who runs the MySpace page. Herein lies the importance of knowledge.

It’s always better to approach the difficult clients, or for that matter, all clients, with an open mind: be receptive, and give sincere, positive feedback. Back your reasoning with substantiated data and articles. Communicate with conviction and convey to your client who is the expert as far as designing the website goes.

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  • Bespeckled SEO

    I have been waiting ages for a co-designer to say these words of wisdom. You just one a place on my Blogroll.

    • Gary

      Many thanks – I still find it strange that people employ experts and are then reluctant to take their advice, it makes no sense to me.

  • SEO Carly

    Very true Gary, i’ve had clients and honestly it would of been cheaper in the beginning if i paid them a few hundred dollars to find someone else.

  • Mathew @ MB Web Design

    So true, this. Especially the 16 year old nephew part. I recently had to turn a potential client down on the basis that they wanted to pay me 25% of the quoted amount for a 12-page site to teach their office junior how to be a web designer and also to fix any errors he encounters over a 6 month period! Some people have such a nerve…

  • Karl Foxley

    I was just working my way through your posts when I came across this one and, all I can say is, I totally agree with you.

    I have met these clients myself and also a Web design company I partner with on projects has many of these on board. I find the prevalence of ‘nephews with MySpace accounts’ to be the main type I have encountered.

    Your response is certainly the one adopt, as an open-mind often leads to better relationships and newer opportunities.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Karl

  • Koncerty

    Yes. Client in always right, because he paid ;)

  • Reeves

    Great advice. I think you always have to take everything a client says in to consideration and show them they are valuable, however, some times if you treat a customer as if they are right when they are not, you can get yourself in trouble or even implement negative affects on behalf of the client.

  • Phill monkey

    MMM is the client always right? I dont think so not always. With SEO or internet marketing the data is always right. Some paying clients need to be told if things are not right and i know they pay there money for work to be done, but does that make them right. be strong be wise and if the client is wrong and not right then tell them there wrong in a nice way. so are all clients right? I feel no