Client requests for revisions are a normal part of running a freelancing business. Although you may have followed the client’s project instructions carefully to try and reduce the chances of revision requests, there will still be instances where your client makes a change request for various different reasons.
The most important thing to remember is not to take it personally and to look at it as a learning experience. The second most important aspect is to know how to handle revision requests so that you can keep your clients happy and continue to maintain an ongoing relationship with them. Here are some tips on how to deal with revision requests from clients:
Listen carefully to the client to determine the reasons why he or she is not happy with the project. Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions and be open to criticism. The more you learn from the client the easier it will be to handle their requests.
By asking questions, you show the client that you are not there to close the project in order to commence another. Instead, you make it clear that this client’s satisfaction is your priority.
Explain Your Procedure
Explain the process you used to complete the project and your reasons for doing things the way you did. Sometimes a client requests revisions because he or she does not understand your reasoning. If you explain why you chose the approach that you used and the benefits of choosing that particular approach, you may bring the client up to your level of understanding and what was a revision request may be no more.
Ask the Client Specific Questions
When dealing with revision requests clients often generalize the reasons they are not happy with the project, which leaves you with little guidance on how to make improvements. Ask specific questions so that you can get an understanding of the specific reasons why the client is not happy with your work. Make sure you understand your client’s views.
Knowing exactly what the client wants makes it easier to deliver the goods. Once you have the specifics, make sure you write them down.
Deliver on Time
Let the client know exactly what you are going to do to improve the project and then set a deadline so the client is reassured that you will make the necessary improvements within a reasonable time period. This also keeps the line of communication open so the client knows what to expect from you.
Follow the Instructions to a “T”
Use your notes from the meeting with the client to complete the steps exactly as discussed. If you follow the instructions to a “T” then you can compare what you did to your notes when you go over the improvements with the client. By delivering improvements in accordance with the exact instructions you were given you demonstrate to the client that you heard them right
Do a Follow-Up Meeting
Once you have completed all the improvements and delivered the work on time, ask for a follow-up meeting with the client so you can go over all of the requested revisions step-by-step. Stay professional throughout the meeting and avoid talking down to the client when you are showing them where the improvements were made.
As you discuss with the client, don’t lose patience and don’t convey the impression that this is a waste of your time. The project may be dragging on, but you cannot blame that on the client.
by John Sylo