Monday, November 11, 2013

TYPES OF CLIENTS in Interior Design

>Clients are easy to deal, if are real, singular, grouped and well organized. Clients are not very difficult to handle even when are invisible or generalized, but are well defined. A professional’s work moves very fast and efficiently, when client’s feedback is certain or predictable.<

A Client can be assumed to be primarily a lay person. A lay person has very limited capacity to solve many of the problems: Quickly, Economically or Efficiently, Such a person would certainly desire the help of an expert, The lay person also understands that the expert will need to be compensated. A lay person with means to hire help is a client. A client desires a skilled person with predictable and socially acceptable behaviour -the Professional. A professional also needs assignments with compensation, to profess the skill. Client and a professional are thus mutually dependent.


A client’s  disabilities manifest for many different reasons:

  • things are not always very simple, easily selectable, readily available, or producible.
  • there are no obvious means to judge the appropriateness of decisions made.
  • there is no awareness of needs or of problems.
  • there is no insight to the nature of skills required.
  • there are no resources, or, one is not aware of the resources.
  • one has been incapacitated for taking decisions and actions by any extraneous cause, and so cannot use the available (or personal) skills (such as a Government official).

Sometimes, a client, wishing to hire services of an expert, has no competence of checking the suitability of a professional for the job. Therefore, a client may have to retain an intermediary to find and appoint an appropriate professional. The job of an intermediary agent here is like that of any other competent and socially acceptable person, the Professional.

A professional often requires services of professionals of different skills to handle a multi disciplinary assignment. Here the (hiring) professional takes on the role of a client, and the retained person becomes a professional. Both are ultimately serving a real client.


Clients come to a professional with varying levels of awareness, what a professional could and should do.

  • A client at a very basic level is guided by a well wisher, but may not have ever experienced any professional in action. Such clients appreciate a professional contribution better, provided if allowed to participate in the decision forming processes.
  • Some clients acutely aware of the significance of the professional intervention, and are very enthusiastic and participatory, Participatory clients are eager to discover the work methods of a professional. Professional must create situations where such clients seem to contribute to decisions, and are formally acknowledged.
  • Other clients are masters of their fields. People (restaurant owner, club manager, managing director, etc.), who are well informed of both, the product and the process to achieve it, but seldom have the time or inclination for accomplishing the same. Such expert clients may consider a professional to be just a service provider, and not necessarily a unique creative person. The Professional in these circumstance is required to control the over-interference, maintain an objective detachment, and consistently prove the professional supremacy or distinction.
A client could be very detached or unapproachable person, due to lack of time or understanding of the subject. The initial hesitance may soon get replaced with sharp comments on seeing the first proposal.

Client representing an organization may not show indistinct awareness, so as to limit their involvement within the ambit of their authorised powers. Their comments through the board room. may come little belatedly.


Individual client: At simplest level the client is representing own-self, or perhaps the family. Such a client is very real and visible in personality. Such individual clients are  easy to define. Such clients are easily accessible and provide interactive feedback during the meetings.

Specific group of persons as client: Clients representing a specific group are partnership firms, private or limited companies, corporations, societies, associations, some government departments and semi-government organizations.

A specific group has members who have formed the group on their own initiative, or have joined a suitable existing group. The designated leader or a small group of representatives invariably have the authority to represent their group. So individually or collectively they behave almost like an individual client. It is not very difficult for a professional to generalize and determine the characteristics of the specific group as a client.

General  (non-specific) group of people as client: These are set of people or beneficiaries, classified per certain logical norms, and are represented by a public organization, government appointee, public leader, etc. The members or beneficiaries need not be aware of their being a party to the group. Person/s who represent such generalised (non-specific) group functions as a client with or without their mandate. The representative of the group could be a job assigning client, in addition to perhaps approving and funding authority. The real -user client (of the project) are invisible and sometimes hypothetical. Since the hypothetical user-client is not interacting, direct feedback is not possible. In such a case, the professional has to define the identity and representative characteristics of the client. The professional is also required to predict the type of response, such hypothetical (unreal and an invisible) client would generate.

User Clients: Clients are actual users or consumers. They directly use the created entity or derive the benefits from the ideas or concept generated by the professional. Such clients, if properly identified, and if can be approached, provide the right feedback.

Assigning Clients:
A client could be a person just assigning the job, like a government official, but may not use the entity created or derive any benefit out of it. Often an active citizen may generate a debate in the society for an issue, and ultimately provide sufficient leadership input to become the de-facto conceiver, convener and executioner of the project.

Non clients or multi clients: In very complex projects, often there is no single or identifiable personality or agency that is acting as a client. The project gets evolved as conglomerate or a consortium of multi-lateral agencies, often with conflicting interests. There may be many part conveners, sponsors, owners. Professional as coordinator has to serve with sheer professionalism, that can be checked by any audit agency.

Marketing  or other specialists as clients: In many instances a professional is required to serve a large number of clients, who remain isolated not just due to their large number and variations but also due to their location. Definition of such clients are derived by marketing  or other liaison agencies. The definitions created by them are invariably very specific, though coloured by the agency that forms such views. It becomes very difficult to pinpoint the failures either to the initial faulty definitions, or wrong professional input.

Professional working as a client to another professional also get a precise brief to operate.

Clients are easy to deal, if are real, singular, grouped and well organized. Clients are not very difficult to handle even when are invisible or generalized, but are well defined. A Professional person's work moves very fast and efficiently, when client’s feedback is certain or predictable.

Professional out put for organized and well-defined clients is not only very relevant, but survives or functions better.


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