Freelancer: How do you delight your clients?

I've been thinking quite a lot about this lately.  I have some really great clients and I want to keep them happy.  So I'm posing this question to both contractors and contractees:  How do freelance elearning designers delights their clients?

Is it enough to deliver on time and invoice fairly? Are there things freelancers can do along the way to exceed project expectations?

If you've hired freelancers, what are some ways they've delighted or surprised you with going beyond what you expected?

Should freelancers keep a portfolio highlighting the ways they've exceeded client expectations, or is this  personal between the freelancers and the client?

I'm focusing a lot on this right now and would love to hear how others feel about it.

2 Replies
Daniel Brigham

Hi, Montse: A big question, for sure. I'd say strive to create training that actually makes a measurable impact. Many clients will actually resist this, because it's hard to face up to the knotty problems. Do some before-training analysis (so you have a baseline) then do some post-training analysis. Now, I'm not sure that this will delight your clients, but it will show them that your work is making a positive impact.

Another thing I'd say is to "manage their expectations" (I got this language from Tom Kuhlmann): understand what type of training they are expecting (visual look, learning activities, interactivity, voiceover style, types of questions to learners). If they are new to elearning, give them examples of basic, moderate, and complex courses. Examples you can turn back to if scope-creep becomes an issue, which it often does. --Daniel

Bruce Graham

One of the consistent things I try to do is help my clients understand their business better.

  • Help them see that "tried and tested slides that have served us well for years..." may benefit from some tweaking, or may even be completely wrong in some way.
  • Help them break out of static thinking, and perhaps take a few more risks with a learning concept where it makes complete sense to do so
  • Wherever I hit a very strong belief on anything, I try and offer an alternative that is as strong. This (at the least) allows them to think about what they have said.
  • Allowing them to behave "freely" - hosting a meeting for example where we rapid prototype in a fun, theatrical and very "non-usual" way. I try and make these meetings almost as fun as a day out of the office, but more productive.

All these push what I do beyond the norm, and help raise the bar in terms of expectations, and raise outputs, all of which "delight".

I believe  you can have a portfolio of things "that delighted", however, specifics of what caused "the delight" should perhaps be kept between you and the client. That is a hard tightrope to walk.

Hope that helps.

Bruce