Getting to know your client is an important part of determining if you’re a right fit for the project. Not only that, but you should always ask questions before-hand to compile information that you will later use to accurately design a website or logo for them. If you quote a client for a project without knowing what it truly entails, then you’re setting yourself up for the possibility of loosing valuable time and money.
Now we know that asking questions before you begin a project is vital, but what about after you’ve completed a project? Although this may seem somewhat insignificant it’s actually an important step to finalizing the completion and delivery of your project. Below you will find various questions that you can ask your client, even though you may not use every single question, make sure you select the ones you believe both you and your client will benefit the most from.
Questions to Ask Before You Begin a Project
Generally these questions are asked before you begin a project, however, you can also ask some of these mid-way through your project as well. Analyze your clients answers and get to work with the information you’ve put together.
1. What Kind of Business Does Your Company Run?
This is an important question because it’s the first step towards getting to know your customer’s business structure. It will help you assess the company’s needs in terms of relative design, and it is also a gateway for strategic brainstorming.
2. What is Your Company’s Reputation?
For an online presence especially, reputation is everything. You want to design a site or logo that reflects the reputation of your clients business. If your clients reputation is having a hard time staying afloat due to negative feedback, then whatever you design for them either has the power to follow the same path, or attract positiveness. Also, does the company have a good reputation for satisfaction, quality, or timely service? These are all elements that affect the design.
3. What is Your Typical Customer Like?
This question will help you get a better idea of what the company comprises of. Is the typical customer foreign to the market your client targets? How does the client interact with its customers? Does the typical customer speak a different language? These questions are vital to the aesthetics and/or usability of your design. If you were designing a logo for example, and your clients typical customer doesn’t speak your clients language, then you would have to make sure the logo is able to communicate effectively on a further level.
4. What Is Your Target Audience?
Different from what the typical customer is like, you must have a deep understanding of what audience your client is currently trying to target. Maybe their trying to steer away from their typical clients and move into a different niche, or your client is looking to redefine and expand their customer base, whether one or the other it doesn’t matter, knowing exactly what audience your client is aiming to target is key to the development and success of your design.
5. Do You Have Any Competitors, if so, How Do You Differ?
Although this may have an obvious answer (if you’ve done a fair amount of research) you should still ask this question to get a feel of what THE Client believes is their competition. More than likely they have a much better idea of who their competing with. Knowing your clients competitors will allow you to rule out any similarities between all of their existent designs. This will help you create a more unique and centric design for your client.
6. How Often Would You Like Me to Update You With Progress?
You don’t want to come off as annoying or dependent of your client for your every move. This question will help you align with your clients wants and update them only when they want to be updated. Excessive updates can easily discourage a client from using your services in the future.
7. How Do You Envision the Finished Project?
If you’re designing a website then it’s important to ask your client what THEY intend to use their website for, and how they envision it will look like. What good would it do if you were to complete a project only to find out it doesn’t do any of the things your client intended for it, or it doesn’t behave the way your client had thought it would?
8. What Method of Payment Do You Use?
If you have no intentions of drawing up a contract before you begin the project, then it would be smart idea to ask your client to elaborate how they plan on paying you for your services. Maybe you only accept PayPal, but your client only pays by check. This could create severe problems if you don’t agree on a method of payment before hand.
Questions to Ask After a Project’s Complete
These questions can be asked right before your deliver your project, or immediately after it’s complete. The purpose of the following questions to make the transition from the beginning of the project to its completion as smooth as possible.
9. How Satisfied Are You With the Results?
This question will help you analyze the quality of your skills and how well you’re able to develop a design based on what your client needs. As you advance in your career, you’ll have plenty of chance to improve your skills, this question will create a chance for you do just that.
1o. Do You Plan on Having Any Revisions and Updates Done to This Project?
Ask this question to avoid frustrations that can easily arise if a client believes they can abuse of you by excessively asking for changes and further revisions free of charge. If your client plans on having you heavily revise and make several changes to a project, then this question will allow you both to agree on a reasonable fee you may collect for additional services.
11. Would it Be Alright for Me to Place a Link to My Portfolio on Your Site?
Usually when a designer completes a web design then they place a small link to their portfolio on their clients site. In no way or shape is your client obligated to agree to let you do this. However, since we know this is a great way for you to get some recognition and reach a wider audience, you should still ask your client if a link to your portfolio may be placed at the bottom or below the footer. Some clients may not allow you to place the link, but they may allow you to place who the site was designed by. (i.e. Site Designed By EXAMPLE)
12. Can I Showcase This Project As an Example In My Portfolio?
Even though this is YOUR design and you have the right to display YOUR work within your portfolio, it’s still common courtesy to ask if you can display your clients project for everyone to see. Some clients may be uneasy with this, however, by asking this question you may avoid headaches caused by your client. If any problems arise, you should inform your client that you have rights to your design because it is still your work, unless otherwise specified.
13. How Well Would You Rate My Services?
Similar to the question asking your client how satisfied they are with the results, this question will allow you to assess and improve the quality of your services. This plays an important role in the succession of your business.
14. Do You Have Any Questions of Your Own?
Sometimes a client may have a few questions, but they may be scared or intimidated to ask you for personal and professional reasons. Whatever reason it may be, you should make your client aware that they can always come to you with any questions they may have. This alone could inspire the client to pursue your services for further projects in the future. Having a trust-worthy relationship between you and your client is one of the most important things you could accomplish.