How to Build and Maintain Trust in an Architect-Client Relationship
The belief of a customer on his architect is of great significance and plays wonderfully well for both the client and the service provider. The trust gained by the clients, paves way to a good reputation, as they would recommend you to their friends and relatives. Clients also tend to be more patient in times when problems arise. Whereas a weak relationship with the clients bears a negative impact on your reputation and cost you future business. Here are a few tips from experts to build and maintain a healthy relationship with you client.
- Effective online presence
The foremost step to gain a client’s trust before even meeting him is by having a vast and effective online presence. Your website must be regularly updated, with the latest project in the pipeline. Your website must be as professional as possible, enhancing your strengths and capabilities. The website must also be easy to navigate and user friendly.
- Good communication is the key
A comfortable communication channel must be developed between your company and the client, wherein the client feels involved in the decision- making. You must make it a point to regularly discuss the development of the project with the client for effective communication. This way the client would be fully satisfied that you are thoroughly engaged in the project.
You must also try to explain the details to the clients in a language that they would be able to comprehend and must be open to their suggestions. Try to avoid using technical terms such as “parti” and “tombre wall”, which could cause mistrust and confusion.
- Detailed presentation of ideas
Use various software such as BIM, wherein a 3-D model can be made, to ensure no room is left for misinterpretation by your clients. You can give them a virtual walk- through, explaining in depth about your design and planning. This would also make you fully prepared for any future conflicts that may rise during construction. By using such software, the clients develop a better understanding of the project and hence instils trust in their architect.
- Be aware of the latest developments in your field
Clients rely on you for information regarding the applicable codes, materials to be used, overall costs, news and creatives ideas. It will make a good impression when you are able to address all their queries with minimum or no mistake. If you are not sure about any piece of information, try not to fabricate a lie or fool the client, as that could lead to mistrust.
- Set a realistic outcome
Many architectural firms tend to overpromise and oblige to every demand of the client. It is important that you set a realistic expectation from the beginning, so as to avoid a greater disappointment to client at the finish of the project. This will also harm the reputation of your firm.
Sometimes, a few firms do not tell their client about the additional costs incurred due to various reasons which in the end causes resentment. Try and maintain a transparent relation with your client.
Clients must feel comfortable in voicing their views and you must provide a personalised solution to all. This will go a long way in the growth of your firm.