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Pistol42
11-06-2008, 06:08 PM
I am pleased to have my first posting on this discussion forum and would like some advice: What's the secret to keeping good clients happy?

I put less effort in pleasing my bad clients. They are rarely satisfied and demonstrate less gratitude when the project is complete. On the other hand, I pamper the good clients. They're easier to work with, better organized, and above all, offer sincere appreciation.

Lately however, I've been finding it more difficult to keep my good clients happy. Cost, schedule and quality (CSQ) have always been at odds with one another. But more and more, I struggle to meet a balanced CSQ ratio.

With more 3D illustrators entering our market every day, the competition is brutal. I don't have to tell you that quality work takes time. But, when a good client responds to an invoice with "my nephew said he could have done it for half..." How do we deliver a professional response?

I don't think we should feel lucky to be paid a fair price to do what we enjoy doing? We all know how much time we've invested in the business of creating good images. I think the secret of keeping good clients happy is to smile in response and continue to deliver on our promises.

Let us commission the "fast lane nephews" of our business to pamper the difficult clients.

SuperNova32
11-06-2008, 08:15 PM
I am pleased to have my first posting on this discussion forum and would like some advice: What's the secret to keeping good clients happy?

I put less effort in pleasing my bad clients. They are rarely satisfied and demonstrate less gratitude when the project is complete. On the other hand, I pamper the good clients. They're easier to work with, better organized, and above all, offer sincere appreciation.

Lately however, I've been finding it more difficult to keep my good clients happy. Cost, schedule and quality (CSQ) have always been at odds with one another. But more and more, I struggle to meet a balanced CSQ ratio.

With more 3D illustrators entering our market every day, the competition is brutal. I don't have to tell you that quality work takes time. But, when a good client responds to an invoice with "my nephew said he could have done it for half..." How do we deliver a professional response?

I don't think we should feel lucky to be paid a fair price to do what we enjoy doing? We all know how much time we've invested in the business of creating good images. I think the secret of keeping good clients happy is to smile in response and continue to deliver on our promises.

Let us commission the "fast lane nephews" of our business to pamper the difficult clients.


I have to agree with you on that. As for answering them, i just say you have to pay for quality work you know. at the start everyone is eager to make a quick buck by dropping the price as low as possible but eventually they realize the pinch on their wallet as well and end up charging the same.

Dexter2999
11-06-2008, 08:57 PM
For a good client it can be trickier than for a bad client.

For a bad client, you just say, "Then perhaps you should give him a try."

For a good client, You could try humor, "Half? Tell him to give me a call, I can give him a better job."
You could be honest and serious. Explain that you do this for a living. By working for half the price, there is no way to make a living wage and keep your equipment and software up to date.

jameswillmott
11-06-2008, 09:15 PM
When you pay peanuts you normally get monkeys.

When the client gets their 'nephew' to do the job it most likely will be nowhere near the quality a professional could do.

Dexter2999
11-06-2008, 09:37 PM
At first thought, it may be tempting to say your work is superior. I have seen hobbiests who do better work than i do professionaly. And they may work for less than I will.

The problem can come under the "Schedule" part of your equation. If they are a hobbiest, it means they have a day job. They will do the job when they get the chance.

You already know the triangle. Cheap, Fast, Good...pick two. You can pay me more to get it fast and of a good quality, or you can pay that guy less to do a better job but won't get it for three more weeks. Or they can pay the guy less to get it on time but it doesn't look as good because they need it tomorrow and he can't work on it until after he gets off from his day job.

The original post doesn't say if the nephew does this for a living or not. Maybe he does. Maybe he is willing to cut his own throat for a relative. I mean I did a freebie for an Uncle and the church he works for, but I let him know it was one time deal.

There are a lot questions. I say keep it professional if it is a "good" client. The "monkeys" line is perfect for the bad clients.

archijam
11-07-2008, 06:26 AM
Good points.

It's important to be aware of what design services you are providing.

Someone else, seeing your image, can easily say 'I could reproduce it'. Often even faster. But reproduction is not vision, design or composition, but simple mimmickry.

ie. Just look at all of the fantastic iron man renders on this forum for example. Modelled in hours/days, rendered in less, do they make the original design worthless, which was sketched, refined and developed over a period of months, or based on an idea that was years in the making?

This is comparing apples and oranges. Not only do you put your customers work together with your own hard earned experience and vision, but you have proven this expertise over and over again. They can rely on a level of quality, as opposed to gambling on their WoW playing nephew, who may have the tools and knowledge, but have no concept of vision, markets, framing, design etc etc etc.

They can buy a product, or buy a raffle ticket ;) ...

flakester
11-13-2008, 07:11 AM
They can buy a product, or buy a raffle ticket ;) ...

Pretty much sums it up right there. Established skills, the 'known quantity'.

Keeping good clients happy, I believe - is the carrying on of what you do, to the standard you've always done it for them.
If you happen to have more work in the pipeline each time they come around - that's no bad thing; they'll likely understand that they just need to think ahead and slot into schedule a little more in advance.

The bonuses that 'really good clients' enjoy are helping them out in a time-squeeze, arranging the services of a fantastic printer for them, or giving them the glossy DVDs instead of the bog-standards.

Nice image there btw Pistol42.

flakester.

Nangleator
12-03-2008, 03:16 PM
Another thing about the talented kids who still live at home... There isn't a fire under them to get it done on time and looking good. A professional doesn't dare burn a client, even if he "doesn't feel like doing it" or "got really busy with other stuff."

Stooch
12-08-2008, 11:05 PM
With more 3D illustrators entering our market every day, the competition is brutal. I don't have to tell you that quality work takes time. But, when a good client responds to an invoice with "my nephew said he could have done it for half..." How do we deliver a professional response?
.

the professional response is "have your nephew do it for half - next time, and i will only charge you double to fix it."

no seriously, tell them that you get what you pay for and by the way, that doesnt sound like a "good" client. a good client will pay what it takes, if they cant manage their funds then they arent a good client.

rakker16mm
12-08-2008, 11:20 PM
You already know the triangle. Cheap, Fast, Good...pick two.

NASA thought differently. They called it "Faster, Better, Cheaper". It turned out to be none of the above.

Andrew March
12-10-2008, 07:34 AM
They got one out of three actually, Faster way to die!

Andrewstopheles
12-12-2008, 09:09 AM
They are paying for more than the final product. They are paying for professional service. They are paying for support, the ability to get the work changed 6 months down the road, and the assurance that the project is developed using industry standard techniques so that it can be repurposed or expanded upon in the future. They are paying because they are confident in your abilities to produce an acceptable return in an appropriate length of time for a reasonable cost.
I've done "Basement Bob" work when I was a Basement Bob, and my work is certainly better now than it was then. And I would pay for the difference.
That being said, freelancers can usually do quality work for less than en established company. The question is, do you trust them?
I've been on both ends, buyin and selling services. I would use both. Depends on the project and the client. And I have no problem telling an annoying client that they might find a better fit elsewhere.

G M D THREE
01-05-2009, 11:19 PM
My answers usually are:

You should meet my nephew he is very enthusiastic about medicine and law, so if you have any health problems or need a criminal defense lawyer he would love to do it for half.

Yes home cooking is always cheeper than restaurants if you are fine with doing the dishes and take out the trash afterwards.


btw I think Stooch is your clients nephew. As he openly admitted to be half as cheep as I am the other day! lol

///

Stooch
01-23-2009, 01:03 PM
My answers usually are:

You should meet my nephew he is very enthusiastic about medicine and law, so if you have any health problems or need a criminal defense lawyer he would love to do it for half.

Yes home cooking is always cheeper than restaurants if you are fine with doing the dishes and take out the trash afterwards.


btw I think Stooch is your clients nephew. As he openly admitted to be half as cheep as I am the other day! lol

///

yep. i can underbid your team while making more money through less overhead. Doesnt have to be "half as cheep". Just enough to steal your client while putting more of the money in my pocket. I will chalk up your frustration to an inferiority complex.

by the way, its spelled c-h-e-a-p (just trying to help you to not keep coming across as a retard...)

you are welcome.

zapper1998
01-23-2009, 01:16 PM
I have seen that Image before ...

Awesome Work..Really Awesome..

Have A great DAY ... :)

mICHAEL

jin choung
01-23-2009, 03:15 PM
the well known aphorism - "fast, cheap, good. pick two".

and if the client says his nephew could do it for half, you should put it back on him - well... why aren't you using your nephew?! if *i* could find someone to do something i need for half the price, i certainly would use them.

"if you can find a better hypno coin for the money, you buy it".

but also be aware that you are not "entitled" to make what you're making.

your prices is determined by the market. and if there are people out there that can do the same for less (and especially if you consider outsourcing, that's a distinct possibility), you might not end up having a leg to stand on.

as always, the key is being able to be flexible and adapt.

it might require you to strip down your infrastructure and start optimizing and making more efficient processes so that you can compete at lower prices.

cuz there is literally nothing else you can do except complain.

there is no way to keep prices high.

this has come up in another thread as well and the conclusion really is this cold hard truth:

adapt or die.

jin

Nicolas Jordan
01-27-2009, 11:40 AM
I wouldn't call that client a good client either. In fact I wouldn't want anymore business from a client like that at all if that's how they see things.

OnlineRender
03-26-2009, 09:12 PM
Its tricky to keep clients happy esp ones that dont fekin pay : made a short promotional film for a client ,when i was 23 ,nothing great nothing to shout about ,but it still done what the client asked for " which he didnt actually know to start with " anyways sent him several invoices ,contacted him several times , everytime i got " i never received anything ill speak to my secretary " . after about 3 month of fekin about , me and 3 close and large friends went to his door , i stood on his nice brand spanking new BMW with a large tube of paint thinners and gave him a choice , 2 days later the cash was in my account ,whalla , and you know something it was for only 600 ...

the next time someone tells you there nephew could do it for half the price
tell them " fine thats great you get your nephew to do it , and see when you come back to me asking to fix it , ill charge you double "
usually stops them in there tracks there and then , sometimes !

TIP :::::: never leave your tooth brush lying about when theres , contracter ,workers or anybody not related to you in your house " .