What consumers should expect from Remote Design Professionals – Part 1

Many questions come to mind when a potential consumer considers remote design as an option for their business. The most common would be “How can it work?”. Numerous concerns arise regarding quality, time management & intergity. Some have tried it & failed, while others shy away due to the misrepresentation from colleagues. Like any industry, success and failure are determined by satisfied clients.

Below are some expectations for consumers should have for remote design:

  • Accessibility

It is essential to be able to connect with the remote designer, when you need to. Questions arise, last minute changes occur. Time zones & language barriers can become challenges. Messaging systems, such as Skype, can become critical tools for communication. Accessing your designer should be as easy as walking to the next office.

  • Accountability

Problem areas are handled promptly, professionally, ethical in manner. Companies that hold accountability in high regard will carry General Liability insurance. If the remote designer is providing a technical service, they will also carry Professional Liability insurance. You can easily recognize a “fly-by-night”, as they are not concerned with accountability.

  • Accuracy

The work returns to the consumer accurately, free of any errors, with all detail worked performed optimally. Questions are clearly noted, communicated with an RFI. Professional services should require minimal effort by the consumer. If there are any issues with accuracy, they are handled instantly, to the consumer’s satisfaction.

  • Availability

Your remote design option is available when you need it, not when they can “work you in”. As your needs increase, viable sources will recognize this, developing their staff accordingly. Peace of mind for the consumer means that availability must never be a concern. Availability should be as routine as sending an email.

  • Consistency

Performance that is predictable, consistent & measurable. The consumer should know what they will receive prior to submittal, no matter what the project type or size is.  The finished design product should mirror what the consumer would expect, had the design been done inside their own office. Without consistency, profitability will fluctuate & become questionable.

  • Credibility

The consumer’s source for remote design must be viable, having a history of successful client relationships. One should not have to wonder if the designer will be available in the future. The designer should have working relations with the software company, licensed  for use. Credible design sources will already have established relationships with industry leaders in their field.

  • Dedication

The remote designer is dedicated to providing services to meet the consumer’s needs. The best interest of the end purchaser is forefront in thought, influencing the processes involved. Without dedication, success is compromised.

  • Education

The remote designer must be willing to freely educate the consumer on how to create avenues for collaborative success. Many policies, procedures & processes must be engaged and measured, so they can be analyzed. Frequently, modifications are required to allow for smooth work flow. In my opinion, educating becomes the remote designer’s responsibility.

Detailed working knowledge in the field of service sought after by the consumer is mandatory. History of successful project completions, with satisfied clients will be available for review. Most times, referrals are the source of locating experts. Expertise is an area that should never be in question.

Stay tuned for Part 2…