How to Confidently Set Your Client’s Expectations

By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO & Co-Founder, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University

There is nothing worse than feeling like you are constantly feeling like you are at the beck and call of your clients.

It can zap your energy, drain the joy and creativity right out of you!

The way to avoid this nightmare is to set boundaries and expectations with your clients right from the beginning.  And even the nicest of clients can quickly become a handful if you don’t continue to manage their expectations throughout the design process.

Here are 4 simple steps to set your clients’ expectations at the beginning and not to reinforce your boundaries without being rude.

1. Include your business hours and response time on your email signature

2. Set up your out of office assistant in your email to turn off and on automatically for weekends, holidays and vacations.

Be sure to include a standard response letting them know when they can expect a reply from you.

3. Give new clients a welcome packet that includes your hours and response time. Walk them through it so they will understand how to work with you from day one.

4. If you plan on checking your email after business hours refrain from sending responses back outside of your normal business hours as this will train your clients to expect responses from you outside of your business hours.

Instead, use an email scheduler like Boomerang for Gmail and schedule your replies to go out during your normal business hours.

When your clients know what to expect and you stick to your boundaries, they’ll be a lot easier to work with. You find that you’ll be less stressed and more creative.

And ultimately, both you and your clients will be happier, too.

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  1. Judith Stoermer on March 28, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Great advice! I will set my schedule on my signature right now. Thank you.

  2. Farha Syed on June 25, 2016 at 3:03 am

    great post. I will put into action rightaway. setting these things up and following them.
    Thanks Gail

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