Client Relations

4.1 Client relations process (leads, communication…) 

The organization should have a well-defined process in communicating with its clients, ongoing and potential. This process will cover the processing of leads or Request for Quotations (RFQ), client relations within project management (design review and acceptance, meetings, minutes, file and document exchanges), client feedback (process, and implementation of resulting actions), as well as managing the relations with clients outside of projects (account management, networking).

Evidence is sales and project records, including typical Client communications.

4.2. Proposal 

The organization should submit to its clients, proposals, service contracts or quotations, which define clearly and understandably, project deliverables, budgets, timelines, mutual responsibilities and general conditions. The proposal should be established such that the client can understand effectively from his perspective and knowledge what is offered. It should also address exit scenarios, if any. The proposals should not be in conflict with ethical practices in the industry or ethical business aspects in general.

Evidence is sample proposals, service contract or quotation.

4.3. Responsibility to the client

The design organization should consider the interest of the client in its actions and strive for a fair collaboration. It should not work at the same time on projects that are in direct competition with an existing client unless with the consent of the clients involved. It should ensure confidentiality of critical information concerning the client and the project transmitted during the collaboration.

Indicators are legal documents, proposals, employment contracts (confidentiality), archiving processes and track-record in this regard.

4.4. Presentation & Communication

The design organization should use effective means of communication to establish a presence among its client target group as well as in the industry network and future staff and collaborators. Typical communication approaches are web presence, public relations, corporate identity or branding, networking activities. The organization should have a clear positioning such that the design disciplines it offers, its expertise and specialties can be clearly understood.

Evidence is samples of communication tools.