Past Posts

March 2011
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First Complaint from a client-Customer Service

Recently on another message board devoted entirely to artists who paint one particular subject (all styles, etc) someone had dealt with a first complaint from the client and was asking how to handle it.
I am blogging my reply here  because it is relevant to any artist who works on commission…no matter what you paint. :-) Also realize that there is no ONE answer  to handling a client’s complaints… is all a package-you, what you do and how you present yourself and your art to the world (so to speak) References to ACE are because it was originally posted on another site :-)

Oh my, this is actually a complicated question with lots of replies based on so many factors, but OVERALL, The whole complaint issue can be resolved ahead of time by YOU being (or learning to be) the one in control :-)

Working on commission means you are an artist for hire. Plain and simple.

The other determining factor in your “complaint meter” is PRICE.  Price determines everything.

With over twenty years and thousands of portraits behind me,  I find that the more money  people invest in my portraits, the more cooperative they are. Seriously. The $300.00 person will, without exception, ask for more changes than the client who just invested $5,000.!

But there’s much more…..although staying in control means you are the expert and the professional, you need to be skilled enough to be able to do what you have been hired to do! You are, after all, working for them :-)

I have found many artists who never practice their craft until they get a commission and then wonder why the client is unhappy.
Your client should not be your guinea pig :-)
Many artists I know, give painting workshops and the next thing they know their happy students are getting a commission (good) but the instructor is getting phone calls and emails from that student wanting to know why their new client is not happy with the results (bad) …the photo is not clear, the eyes are in shadow, etc., etc………..If you are skilled enough and have painted enough, and know what your subject really looks like,  then you know how to work around bad photography.

You are confident of your abilities  because you have practiced!  And along with that comes your PEOPLE skills.

Browse the articles on my other site, and find the one about how to stop clients from coming back for changes AFTER the sale. It took me investing a lot of money into non-art marketing information to discover THAT sales technique (I had to learn it too)
In summary and fact, (and I stress this in my ebook- )  clients do respect your professional opinion and expertise  more if you “charge” enough money for your work! They put more value in your opinion as the expert. “price determines everything.”

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