Managing multiple clients is a balancing act for any agency, and knowing how to handle client revisions is just one of many skills you need. Sometimes you spend a lot of time and effort creating content for a client, only for them to send it back with a laundry list of changes.
While it can be easy to feel discouraged and get bogged down in endless email chains, there are steps you can take to streamline your process and save yourself, and your client, a whole lot of stress.We’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you navigate this delicate area of the client-agency relationship.
Tips for Managing Client Revisions
Understand Client Expectations
The first step in ensuring you have happy clients is managing client expectations. You need to understand what they expect from you and be clear about what you can deliver.
Ideally, the client will present you with a clear plan of what they’re looking for, but it’s also your job as the agency to tease out all the necessary information you need to get to work.
You need to guide the client into a space where their expectations and your capabilities align.
Present Multiple Concepts Initially
To start creating, you need to have a clear concept. The best way to settle on a concept between yourself and a client is by presenting multiple ideas at the outset of a project.
Even if you have a favorite in mind, show the client a range of different options so they can feel empowered about their choice, and confident about your range of creativity.
By presenting multiple concepts you can discover any absolute no-no’s sooner rather than later. Remember, knowing what the client doesn’t want is just as important as understanding what they do.
Schedule Regular Check-ins
In an ideal world, the initial concept needs no revisions. We all know that is rarely the case. Knowing how to handle client revisions is super important because the business landscape is always shifting, and quickly.
To stay ahead of the curve, schedule regular check-ins so the client feels involved each step of the way. Adjustments are easier to implement the sooner they get to you and it can improve your client-agency relationship.
Use Collaborative Content Approval Software
Gain ensures that all the appropriate parties have had a chance to critique and approve the work without you personally chasing people. Gain helps you manage approval deadlines, creates automatic approval chains, and keeps all feedback and comments in a centralized space.
Encourage Specific Feedback
As an agency, it’s important that your clients feel comfortable critiquing the work you do for them. Make sure you foster an environment where they feel no change is too big or too small. Most of all, encourage them to be specific.
If they don’t like the font, find out what it is they don’t like about it. If something more abstract feels off, give them an adequate opportunity to try and synthesize what exactly they’re looking for, so you can recalibrate correctly.
Offer Alternatives and Solutions
It’s not unusual for clients to change their minds so you should always be ready with alternatives and solutions. From your experience, you can build yourself a tool kit of quick fixes to common problems.
Sometimes you will need to go back to the drawing board, and that’s okay too. This is a collaborative process, and while it can be frustrating, there is usually a solution that makes everybody happy.
Throughout your creative process, countless versions of the same content can be produced, especially if you have a long approval chain. It’s vital that you keep track of any changes that are made, by whom, and when, so you can guarantee the final version is exactly right.
Tools like Gain make this part of the process so much easier, with role-specific access and in-app annotations.
Finalize and Deliver
Once you have received all the necessary approvals, it’s time to finalize that content and deliver it to the client.
It’s a good idea to create a checklist so that you know all the appropriate steps have been taken before delivery. This way, each person who checks the work before it goes out can be confident that it’s ready for the client.
Don’t Take It Personally and Be Respectful at all Times
Sometimes, a client will not like your work, and that’s okay! This is not a personal attack on you and your abilities, it’s simply a mismatch between the vision and expectations of the client and your own.
The best thing you can do is stay calm, listen to their suggestions, and focus on working together for a better outcome. Respect from all parties is the key to successfully maintaining the client-agency relationship.
How to Deal with Endless Revisions
Do infinitive revisions drive you crazy? Well, you’re not alone. They do happen from time to time. So, it’s crucial to be ready.
Begin by getting to know your client and their business, ideally during the onboarding process. Then, before starting any project for the client, create a project plan and make sure they approve it.
While working on the project, stay in regular contact with the client and ask for their input at key milestones. This way, you can make minor adjustments along the way instead of dealing with a big pile of changes at the end that can be overwhelming.
What to Do When a Client Disagrees with You?
If a client disagrees with you, try to approach the issue with empathy. Everybody has deadlines and work pressures, which can quickly push people into conflict.
You need to listen to the client and genuinely try to understand their concerns. If you want to stick to your guns, be prepared to support your assertions with hard data and reasonable arguments. Most importantly, focus on finding a solution and moving forward together.
How Many Revisions Should You Give to the Client?
The number of revisions needed can vary widely, contingent on factors such as your business type, project specifications, and agreement with the client. In creative domains like design and copywriting, it’s customary to aim for 2 to 3 revision rounds. However, to ensure client satisfaction, you might consider offering the option for unlimited revisions.
What Are the Types of Revisions?
Clients often ask for changes, big or minor, for various reasons. Yet, when it comes to marketing and social media, the revisions you typically encounter fall into the following categories:
- Content Clarity and Accuracy: Clients may request revisions to enhance content clarity, correct facts, or align with their brand’s voice and values.
- Design and Visuals: Clients frequently ask for revisions concerning visual elements like graphics, images, and videos. They may seek changes in layout, colors, typography, or design to align with their brand and cater to their audience.
- Compliance and Legal: In regulated industries or when handling sensitive subjects, clients may need revisions to ensure content aligns with legal and industry-specific regulations. This may entail adding disclaimers, addressing social media compliance concerns, or modifying language to meet legal standards.
The Bottom Line
Client revisions are an unavoidable part of doing business. All you can do is make the process as easy and pain-free as possible.