How to explain my client that the solution to his organization’s problems is not graphic design?

My client (a kind of a spa) called me to do their new website and stationery. After almost a month of investigation and interviewing the staff, I came to the conclusion that the problem is not their stationery or their website. Their problem is the outdated HMS (Hospital Management System) and all the underlying processes and the overall messy workflow that produces lots and lots of unnecessary clutter and wasted paper.
But I don’t know how to convince him to work with a programmer to update their system first and then work on their stationery. He just wants a “pretty website and minimalist stationery”

Answer

Wow, I feel your pain. Been there.

Whether you present the additional work depends entirely on the kind of relationship you have with the client.

If this is a new or casual client, not someone you can speak with bluntly, just prepare a scope of work and quote to cover the website and stationery and ignore the rest.

If you can speak honestly to this person, you should still prepare the scope and quote exactly as requested.

But when you present the scope to the client, explain that your investigations led you to additional conclusions. Be prepared to back your opinions with hard evidence, preferably comparisons to other spas which use other processes and have better results. If you’re really bored, you can get a quote for the programming you think should be done, and do a cost-benefit analysis to show how it would benefit the client in the long run.

You will then likely hear:

  • They can’t change the HMS for whatever reason
  • They don’t have the money for a programmer
  • “The current system works just fine”

And you should pleasantly agree and drop the subject. Hand the client your scope and quote for the website and stationery and don’t bring up the sausage-making again.

So yeah, you can try to fix the underlying problem, but you have to do it on your own time and your own nickel, and the chances are very high that your efforts will be ignored.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : user29857 , Answer Author : Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum

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