On Losing A Client
Last week we lost a client, a first me honestly. Coming from the world of in-house design teams, I've not experienced this. When this happens, you feel bad about it. Now you potentially have a bad relationship out in the world because you didn't serve the client well. I choose to believe that nothing in life is wasted, and you can apply the lessons you learn from the experience to help you move forward. If you have never lost a client, or if you just recently did, I hope this proves to be helpful in providing some insights on how to move forward.
1. Don’t start by blaming others
I know many people that simply start by blaming the client or even another team member, but this is a really bad practice. Resist this desire as best you can and take a step back and honestly ask yourself how you can improve the clients experience moving forward.
2. Know you can’t please everyone
A major challenge many creatives face is a pretty loud voice in their head telling them they are not good enough at their job to be doing the work they are doing. I have heard and continue to hear this voice. That voice will never be as loud as it is when you fail, and that sucks. But I think it’s important to remember that no matter how good you are, you can’t please everyone. Even Paul Rand had his Ford redesign turned down by Henry Ford II. (Ford was just about to release the GT40 that would beat Ferrari at their own game.)
3. Always Be Showing Grace
Grace is one one of three core values at Studio Science. I'm always challenged by this notion because this is part of your spirit. If you are burnt out, feeling down about a project, annoyed or even a bit pissed at how things are going, this can be a real challenge to display. I think it's helpful that we make every attempt to care for ourselves in a way that promotes us giving grace to our clients.
4. Keep moving forward
Not succeeding at something sucks. Not serving a client sucks. Knowing that you disappointed others (including the client) sucks. But it happened, it's done, it's time to check back over your actions and figure out what you can learn to move forward. The only time an experience like this is wasted is when you give up and choose not to move forward and learn from your experience.