The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists

The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists

One day I wondered why communication with some clients is easy and smooth, while with others, there are problems. Of course, it’s not about clients. The client is always right; even if he is wrong, we cannot influence the other person in any way, but we can correct our behavior. In the case of correspondence, our words.

And as it turns out, most problems and “problematic” clients can be avoided if we conduct correspondence correctly. These principles were formed from my experience: in employment jobs, interacting with colleagues and customers, and working in the store.

Have you ever had an insight, “That’s how you should have done it”? And it turns out to be so obvious that you wonder why you didn’t realize it immediately. Despite the apparent simplicity and obviousness, only some of us do it. These rules will be helpful in work and any communication where you need to get some results.

Whether you are in the role of the store owner, or on the contrary, a buyer, or discussing plans for a vacation with your husband, these principles certainly do not hurt. And if you start using them everywhere, they are easy to get into your head, and their application no longer requires tension and concentration. It’s like with habits.

I should point out right away that these rules are also a guideline for me. My clients will confirm that I am still far from them. But formulated in writing, they help me to keep them in my head better during correspondence and strive to comply with them.

Don’t write without understanding the context

If you’re unsure you’ve got it right, reread the messages again. Are you sure you don’t understand? – Ask the customer again.

Only some people write so incomprehensibly. More often than not, you’re out of context, have forgotten what you’re talking about, and don’t understand the client’s phrase. Reread the correspondence if there is the slightest chance that you did not understand something. You reread it three times and didn’t understand it? Then write a clarifying question, and ask again.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known to have cases where I was 100% sure that the client and I agreed on everything and understood each other, and then it turned out that some small detail was overlooked or misunderstood. Sometimes just lost in the pages of correspondence, sometimes, it wasn’t mentioned, but the client implied it. And I should have felt it and clarified it.

Try to anticipate everything

Mary asked the courier to come tomorrow from 5 to 6 p.m. She had planned to arrive at the workshop around 4:45 p.m., pack the packages, and hand them to the courier. But the courier arrived at 4 p.m. because he couldn’t come later and didn’t give her any notice. This is reality; people and companies here often don’t follow through on agreements. You should have packed the parcels in the morning and put them aside until the courier arrives. Or better yet, the night before.

Mary had a wedding dress ordered that needed a beaded sash. Mary sat down to sew the dress and ordered the belt from another mistress so the client would get everything at once in a set. The mistress promised to have the work done in a week. Mary planned to finish the dress at that time, too.

The client was promised to have the dress shipped in a week and a day. The seamstress didn’t calculate her strength, and the belt took her two weeks. The dress is ready, and the client is nervous. Is it the mistress’ fault? No, Mary’s fault for not foreseeing this scenario. You should have considered this risk when you wrote the deadline to the client and agreed to 2-3 weeks. Or she should have controlled the mistress more closely. That she delayed the deadline would have become clear on Wednesday, and the client could have been warned. Then he/she would have been much less worried about the delay.

The post office promises to deliver a parcel from one city to another in 3 working days. But you know that what is written on the website is not always true. So you write to the customer that the parcel may arrive in 3 days, as they say on their website. But in reality, such parcels often go almost a week. In rare cases, but such cases still happen, the parcel can go and 2-3 weeks. Is the client ready for this?

You described the situation, reassured yourself against his/her possible dissatisfaction with the long delivery time, and gave the client an understanding of the situation and a choice. Now, he/she will be calm and will understand what to expect. Don’t assume that the customer knows what you know. Tell him/her all your knowledge, even if it seems obvious to you.

Everyone makes mistakes. You and other people/organizations make mistakes. But you are the parachute that protects the client from the world that makes mistakes because you reassure yourself and give the client as much information as possible.

The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists - Jana Toys

– The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists


Jane’s manager was emailed by a client and told her she needed a standard size 42 dress. Jane made the dress and sent it to the customer. The customer received the dress, which wasn’t big enough for her. According to Jane’s measurements, the customer was between a size 44 and a size 46. No, it’s not the client’s fault. She’s been wearing loose-fitting knitwear and buys a size 42. Jane always verifies the client’s measurements before sending the order to work because every manufacturer’s measurements are different, and the client’s sense of her body may not match her size range.


In a conversation with the client, Anna discussed all the order details, measurements, deadlines, etc. The collected requirements completed the order, but in the end, the client asked why there was no belt for the dress. The belt was not provided and was not discussed separately. But does it matter why the customer thought it should be there? So now Anna, after all the details of the order are clarified, writes a generalizing letter with a repetition of all the stipulated so that the client has no chance to come up with something of his/her own. Only after the client has answered that everything is correct Anna begins to work on the order.

Almost all misunderstandings and problems can be solved by one such letter. Be active in gathering all the information from the correspondence, no matter how many pages and changes along the way. Give the client a chance to make sure you got it right. If you misunderstood each other and the client didn’t get what he wanted (although the odds remain small), that will be your argument in further correspondence. Even if you refund the client, you’ll both know that you were right and gave the client all the information about the future order, and he confirmed it.

Don’t leave your client

Mary is not at her computer, but clients are writing and writing. Mary can’t answer them now. She has prepared a message template in advance for such an occasion. She greets the client. She writes that she’s not in the workshop and can’t answer now but will write later in the evening when she’s at her computer. Mary sends this message from her phone and reminds herself to read it all in the evening. That way, she won’t forget to respond to the client when she arrives at the workshop. Customers will have peace of mind that they have been heard and not forgotten. The same rule works when Mary reads the client’s message and pauses to clarify some information, take pictures, etc. She texts the client that she’s busy and will respond as soon as she’s finished gathering information. After all, clients often text Mary in real time, like on Messenger. They don’t understand why Mary read the message and disappeared, even if only for 15 minutes. And this way, they will have peace of mind.

Don’t be stingy with apologies

Jane promised to send the pictures to the client today but didn’t make it in time and sent them the next day. Even if the client said nothing about it, we’d still apologize for breaking our promise.

If you made a promise, keep it. If you can’t, then tell the client

Jane promised a client she’d send pictures today but doesn’t have time to take them.

That’s not right: don’t say anything to the client today; take the pictures tomorrow and send them. The client doesn’t say anything.

Right: write and apologize to the client that I can’t take the photos today. Write when you can.

Don’t criticize yourself for mistakes that happened through no fault of your own

But apologize for them and offer a solution to the problem. The customer must see that you are ready to help him/her, even if it wasn’t your fault. You’re sorry that the buying process didn’t go perfectly, right? And who’s to blame for that – it’s not that important. And mistakes often happen because some previous points weren’t fully implemented. So who is to blame?

The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists

– The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists

Answer the client’s question in more detail than she asked

Answer the client’s question a little more than she asked. Anticipate nearby questions. Answer questions the client has not considered and you’ve thought of them for him/her. He’ll be glad to have everything laid out for him/her at once.

Bad example:

– Would a toy made of this material look good?
– No, it won’t.

Good example:

– Will a toy made of this material look good?
– A toy made of this material won’t look good. Here are examples of well-made toys. You can choose from this list’s primary toy material and additional decorations.

End each letter or message with a precise question to the client so that she understands the next step in the correspondence and what she should answer

Then the correspondence will move, and the sequence of steps will be obvious.

Bad example:

– I have such and such material for this sweater.

Good example:

– I have such and such material for this sweater. Anything you like? I can look into the workshop tomorrow if these options don’t work for you. I may still have some interesting materials.

In the first case, the client will likely leave thinking for a week is high. In the second case, the likelihood of getting some kind of answer immediately increases significantly. Even if the answer is that the client is unsure and doubtful, you’ll start a dialogue, and you’ll be able to help with the choice. You’ll understand exactly what the client is confused about. You’ll get much additional information to help you do exactly what the client wants. Otherwise, he’ll think it over in silence, and you won’t even know.

Greetings and farewell

Greeting. What I’m writing about. The body of the letter. Farewell with a description of the reaction from the client. Do not skip these blocks, no matter how much you want to write shorter.

Good afternoon Anna!

I am sending you instructions on how to take your measurements. I have attached it to this letter.

For our model, you will need measurements 1-5 and measurement number 8. Will you be doing the measurements yourself, or can someone help you? This information will help me correctly assess the measurements you will send me.

If you have any questions about the measurements or instructions, email me.

Regards, Mary.

The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists

– The principles of communication with the client. Useful tips for handmade artists

You have the last word

The client has answered your question. You have no more questions. But you can’t just walk away and leave your client. So write it down:

Thank you, I have no more questions. I’m starting the order. If I have any questions, I’ll write to you.

You don’t have to answer just the tenth “Thank you” from the client that you’ve already answered nine times.

I hope to find some interesting thoughts for you. I would be very happy if you could share your thoughts on successful communication in the comments of this article.