Four ways clients can ensure an efficient, effective design process

by Damian Priday

At Fresh Tilled Soil, we have had hundreds of successful client relationships and delivered hundreds of projects that have added value to our clients. From a very early stage we realized that success is determined by the strength of the client-agency relationship. Over countless interactions with prospects and clients, we began to see that getting the relationship off on the right foot was crucial to forming a strong bond and an understanding of the project and tasks at hand. So it is vital that we are ready to go into this relationship not just for us here at Fresh Tilled Soil, but for the client as well.

Our project management team (including Jayne, Kelly, Michael, and Tim) have all been at the forefront of building and managing these relationships from start to finish. They know what it takes to get the most out of a relationship and for a client to get the most valuable work for the right cost. I sat down with our team to hear their advice on how a client can get ready for a relationship and get the most out of their work with Fresh Tilled Soil.

Good communication is key.

  • Know how ready you are, or if you are not ready, then how to get there.
  • Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Our team can play off your strengths and pick you up where you need the most help.
  • Be transparent. Nothing hurts us more than a hidden agenda or a goal that has not been communicated. We can only deliver on the things you ask us to deliver on.

Understand schedules; understand fluidity.

  • We want to set sail from Port A to Port B. That is to say, we have a set goal and a schedule to arrive there. We can stop anywhere you like for however long you like and can take any route, but this will likely impact the rest of the work flow.
  • Remember that we need to arrive on time, and the waters may get rough along the way.
  • Be flexible and fluid and we can be too.
  • It is hard to give absolutes, especially weeks in advance, but know that we all need to arrive at our destination on time.

We are in this boat together.

  • Continuing on our nautical analogy here, know that a relationship should be balanced and founded on trust. If either of us rock the boat, we risk capsizing.
  • Have a mutual respect in good times and bad. There will be hiccups along the way, but it is important not to breach professional conduct. Respect our team, and trust that we are here to work through any issues with you.
  • Start fresh. Leave your previous bad relationships on the shore before we cast off.

The relationship is reciprocal.

  • Follow through on what you promise.
  • Use your Fresh Tilled Soil project manager to your advantage. They are your champion on the inside.
  • We do not expect anything from you that we will not give in return. Everything we mention above is the same attitude and promise you will have from Fresh Tilled Soil on your project.

These four guiding principles will help allow you to ready yourself to work with any creative agency, not just ours, and allow you to get the best possible result out of a very talented team. It is up to both sides to be ready for the relationship. Building a good relationship means communicating well, understanding that you are in this together, being respectful and flexible about time, and understanding that what you give will be returned in full throughout our efforts.

About Fresh Tilled Soil

Fresh Tilled Soil is a Boston-based user interface and experience design firm focused on human centered digital design