Don't: Stress out a client with your timeframe
Do: Keep a client on schedule and the project moving while allowing for enough time to reflect or generate content.
-While it is pertinent to remind a client of scheduling and keep a project moving, it is necessary to be sensitive to the clients own work demands and scheduling needs. It is best to agree upon a schedule before beginning the project with the client, but to also be flexible enough to adapt to changes in plans as they come up (on the clients end and on your own). Try to help your client understand how they fit into a schedule which also includes other clients, while still being available to them when they need you.
Don't: Assume you know everything about your client
Do: Realize that your client ultimately knows his business best.
-Your experience in all things branding, design and development are the reason why your client hired you and needs your advice. However, take the queues from clients seriously when he is adamant about his operations and the way he goes about things.
Don't: Be satisfied with what the customer tells you about a given project or problem, only.
Do: Ask open and closed ended questions to find out important details to gain a better and more specific understanding or problems/projects.
-A customer may not know what is important for you to know to get the project done to his expectations. It's better to ask too many questions than too few. Having a client elaborate on important topics will be helpful. Seek to develop a comfortable relationship with the client so they will feel at ease as you talk with them.
Don't: Use techie or artsy jargon that might confuse.
Do: Use simple and clear language and embrace the mind of a "beginner."
-Embrace the heart of a teacher with the client being your student. An educated client who understands the process and product is a happier customer and more likely to not get upset with unexpected results he didn't bargain for because of his lack of understanding.
Don't: Make up your mind before a project or meeting begins.
Do: Get rid of expectations and preconceived notions and keep an open, sensitive mind.
-While it is good to have ideas in mind, you may have to adjust, expand or even scrap them once the client fills you in on new developments and explains what he likes or doesn't like. Some projects grow while others become smaller. Try to keep the customer happy by meeting their needs and doing the best thing that the budget allows for.