How to Build and Maintain Trust in an Architect-Client Relationship
A customer’s belief in 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 the 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. Simultaneously, 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 your 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. It would help if you made it a point to regularly discuss the project’s development 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 comprehend and be open to their suggestions. Try to avoid using technical terms such as “party” and “timbre 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, 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 arise during construction. By using such software, the clients develop a better understanding of the project and instill 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 can address all their queries with minimum or no mistakes. 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. You must set the realistic expectation from the beginning to avoid a greater disappointment to the client at the project’s finish. 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 causes resentment. Try and maintain a transparent relationship with your client.