My wife has a customer who bought a wedding dress. The wedding dress is designed by my wife. Oh, she’s a fashion designer, btw… not a tailor. Long story short, the customer has too many requests and seemingly does not know what she really wants. One day she wants this and the other day, she wants that. Ultimately, the design went nowhere to the state where my wife is completely puzzled at understanding what the customer really desires.
It becomes confusing to both parties. On my wife side, she wants the dress to have the signature of her design. On the customer side, she does not know what she really wants. I understand if a customer does not know how to explain in plain language about the design she desires but when design changes have been made and shown to the customers get no where, well, we have a problem.
At one point, the customer showed a design from another designer, the customer asked if my wife could design it like that. Well, that’s the issue. Making a dress copying someone else’s design is a big no-no. It’s one of my wife’s work ethic. The design can probably be made to look like that but not exactly the same. Fashion design is a unique subject. Sometimes, not even copying somebody can resemble somebody’s design. If the customer wants the exact same dress, why not buy it from the designer herself? I have a feeling the customer wants to save cost. The customer also wants to have a dress that can be worn at 3 occasions, the design has to be somewhat different on all three. That’s right! Three! A day at the church, an event on the wedding day, and the main event itself. Why not buy 3 separate dresses? Changing one dress design from one occasion to another is also a big no-no. A dress can only be altered in minor ways, otherwise, it’s crooked.
My conclusion is that the customer does not know what she wants and the desire to save cost wherever possible.
When my wife and I were preparing for our wedding. From day one, we agree on one design. There was no design change request or whatsoever. So, every time we visited the maker of the dress (who is a prominent Indonesian designer), we asked only to make the dress just like we stated on day one. We never asked for any changes for that matter. All we want was to give the designer as much time as possible so he could have all the creative burst he could possibly ask for. Basically, we paid a chunk purely for his design.
The moral of the story is, sometimes customers do not what they really want. Sometimes, there are limitations in communication due to the vast knowledge of the designers and the customers’ little knowledge of subject matter. Communication and understanding are the key here.
I have encountered this many times, sometimes on daily basis, and I’m not surprised but this is the type of customer that you should try to avoid when possible.