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Managing Expectations

January 12, 2011

Industry Observations

It’s 4:59pm on a Friday and you receive a call from the client whom you’ve been trying to get a hold of for the last 3 weeks regarding some questions you have about the brief and doesn’t she ask you if you could email her some layouts by Monday. Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately most of you will answer yes.

This scenario happens more often than it should around the world. This is not just an American phenomenon but a global one. Unfortunately it shows once again how the Client side perceives the work involved with the creative development and execution of their project. Rodney Dangerfield said it best about not getting any respect.

The only way to change this attitude is for the creative partner to help establish the ground rules for how work gets done with the client at the beginning of the relationship. This isn’t rocket science but rather common sense. All too often expectations between a client and the service provider are NOT managed well which ultimately leads to difficulties down the road.

I have advised all of my clients to consider creating an agency binder for their clients which will answer 90% of all their questions and thus avoiding any frustration or misunderstanding between the client and the service provider.  In this binder you might include how work flow is initiated and processed, forms that get used, contact information for the key team members, billing procedure, and other important aspects regarding the day-to-day dealings with the agency.

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