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Client Services

We’ve written 27 blog posts about Client Services. View all topics »

  1. Next Level Project Management

    Recently I’ve been privy to several good discussions in the Digital Project Management community around ‘next level’ project management – going beyond tactical proficiency and honing one’s skills around crafting client-team relationships. Tactical proficiency alone does not build a strong project manager (PM)-client relationship.

  2. Webfont Licensing 101

    Choosing a type palette goes beyond considering aesthetics, legibility, browser support, and performance. For fonts to truly be appropriate for your project, they must also be technically and financially sound solutions. No one wants to be surprised by the outrageous cost of a font package after all designs have been delivered.

  3. Crafting a Business Ecosystem

    9/11/14

    by Greg Hoy

    0 Responses

    Sure, do it for money. But just as importantly, do it for fun.

    We’re currently working on a digital redesign for Lagunitas Brewing Company. It’s our first foray into the craft beer world and a bucket-list item for me personally, having long been a fan of Lagunitas. Many of their beers are complete style mashups (they are not staples at the Great American Beer Festival in part because their beer doesn’t fit neatly into judging categories). Their brand is decidedly lo-fi, but filled with personality. If you haven’t read a story on one of their beer bottles or some of the prose on a case, just have a gander.

  4. Cognition Roundtable

    We’re bringing you this special edition of Cognition Roundtable, where Assistant PM Mica McPheeters speaks with our VP of Design Chris Cashdollar about the client’s role in design projects. Spend the next half hour with Chris, as he pulls inspiration from his upcoming presentation at HOW Interactive Design Conference in Washington, DC—“Reevaluating the Role of Your Client in the Design Process.” Specifically, he’ll cover:

  5. We know where passion comes into play and where to put it in check.

    One day a phone call came in from a large, amazing hospitality brand. They were preparing for their annual shareholder meeting and needed some environmental and wayfinding work done in a hurry. It was 2004 and I was a designer at a studio in Southern California. The studio was small, and the team was small, but we had a big passion for great work and cool brands. There wasn’t much that we couldn’t handle.

    Our passion for this particular project was pretty intense. We were collectively excited; not only by the type of work, but for the brand as well. Nights and weekends be damned, this project was going to kick ass. And it did — but not without its bumps in the road and small anxiety attacks. Communication started to breakdown and frustration started to take over. The client’s trust in our ability to see the project through started to evaporate.

  6. 7 Lessons in 8 Years of Client Services

    Eight years ago next month, I came onboard as Airbag Industries’ first employee (we later became part of Happy Cog). In a moment of reflection recently, I sat down with my eight-years-ago-self and wrote down some of what I’ve learned. Here’s what I would share with 2006 Ryan, to not necessarily prevent mistakes but to help him (me) manage them better.

    In the beginning, I worked as a project manager for a retainer client Greg Storey secured. I spent every day for a year talking to lawyers about blogs. I presented designs to lawyers, handled their requests and feedback, and then worked with them to get their new blog populated with content and launched.

  7. Taking the Local

    A prospective client recently raised the (periodic) concern that our team wasn’t in close proximity to their headquarters. My reply was thorough: “We have two locations ourselves; successfully working remotely is in our DNA.” “We have a track record of working with clients all over North America and abroad, and a laundry list of client testimonials and references.” “Even when we work with a client in Philadelphia or Austin (where we’re based), those projects behave the same way as when we work with a client in South Dakota. Our process is location-agnostic.” Etc. etc. etc.

    The client seemed to appreciate my response, but in the end, they chose a local firm instead. I missed my opportunity to win that particular project, but the next time our proximity to clients comes into question, I’ll have a different response. My answer should have been simple, concise.

  8. ’Tis but thy name that is my (fr)enemy

    “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet; / So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d” (Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, 2.2).

    In the world of project management, naming conventions are often the source of miscommunication. You have to call your work something, but if you assume everyone interprets a name the way you intended, you’re likely to stub your toe during the course of the project. As managers, minimizing risk and setting expectations is an everyday task, yet something as simple as a name or label can fly under our radar. We live and breathe our work, and we are passionate about it. It’s a good practice to never assume labels are understood out of the gate. Here’s a few tactics to help you make naming conventions work for you.

  9. Recruit the Recruiters

    Business development in a client service organization is a complex responsibility. Each approach is different from the next, but good salespeople share core competencies. I’ve talked to dozens of agency owners at Owner Camp, where the importance and role of business development is a popular conversation topic. Salespeople can be found in all walks of life. But, more than a few great ones I know were formerly recruiters, and here’s why.

  10. War on Spec

    Some agencies adhere to the mantra “you get the clients you deserve.” If that’s the case, clients also get the results they deserve—especially when they hire based on spec. This past year, I watched two projects implode after they landed with other agencies who provided spec work in the sales process. I’m not typically a sore loser, but if you hire a partner based off of spec work, you’re digging your own grave.

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