Podcast (tv): Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | More
How do you stop endless client feedback? Those times in which a client has so many revisions, your original work begins to unravel. Also, when does the feedback cycle ever end? I’ve dealt with clients who continually change the project all the way up until launch and after launch, they have more feedback. There’s only one way to stop this endless, and that is to limit the amount of revision cycles you offer.
Set a Limit for Feedback Rounds
With the revision cycles, I limit this to two cycles. In my process, a revision cycle is whenever a client contacts me after the first presentation of the work to make changes or adjustments; this counts as a round. I typically suggest the client to submit their feedback as a compiled list of what they would like to be changed collectively. If the client sends an email to change one thing I count that as one round if the client sets up a phone call to discuss changes I count that as one round. Any more than two rounds would incur another revision fee.
Why a fee?
I charge an extra fee for any feedback over two rounds of revisions not for more money. The fee serves as a deterrent and reminder the client needs to be intentional about giving feedback. I have found this to be very helpful to both parties; I have the designer don’t have to keep revisiting you know the project over and over to make changes, and the client has now a focus time in which they can truly communicate improvements they want to see to the project.
After you explain your design decisions
Never present your work to a client without commentary. You are going to need to explain your reasoning for certain choices and inform the client how your expertise lead you to make those decisions. If you present your work to a client with no context, then you are inviting them to give you more feedback. Make connections between the client’s original request and explain how each decision you made addresses their needs.
Put this in your contract
The allotted amount of revision cycles needs to go into your client agreement (contract). The client needs to understand the process of how feedback will be managed when they sign your agreement. Don’t assume because you make mention of this the client will follow, make it official and make them agree to the revision cycles by signing. Also, don’t assume that your work is so flawless and impeccable that no one will have anything to say. Sometimes clients give feedback so they can feel a part of the project, it’s not all about your opinion and your decisions, the client wants to be a part of The project as well.
Centralizing random thoughts
The whole purpose of having revision cycles is to help the client focus on what is essential for launch. Normally feedback is fragmented and scattered but having an allotted time for feedback allows you to make sense of all the randomness. Create a Google Doc in which you enable the client to write their thoughts and then have them contact you when they are complete so all the changes can be implemented at one time.
Document these changes – clients forget what they say
Don’t forget to record and write down any feedback the client says. I’ve spoken with clients who gave their feedback, I summarized back to them what they said, and after a week, I show them the changes and they make contradicting comments. To prevent this write down what the client says and send a summary email to them. Whenever the feedback is implemented, show them how you incorporated each point of feedback.
Deadline for Feedback
Just like there is a limit of how many rounds of revision you’re going to produce, also put a time limit as well. You don’t want to leave feedback open because there are deadlines to meet and a launch date to keep. Have a window for feedback and once the window was closed, the time for feedback is over. Now of course, if the client has a suggestion that is vital to launching accommodate them but the purpose of a deadline is to make sure that you receive feedback in a timely matter to the bit so the client can be successful.
Determine what is out of scope
Usually, the term out of scope is used to refer to when a client requests something other than what was previously agreed-upon. So when receiving feedback from clients they should be commenting on how to improve the project not introducing new elements that will increase the workload or extend the deadline. Again mapping out what the scope of the project is necessary to do in the client agreement. Any new ideas the client may have that would be great for the project but fall out of scope you can add it as something to address in the follow-up meeting which takes place after launch.