Frustrated with your client? Beginning to wish you’d never taken this job on in the first place? Do you just need some feedback so that you can move forward?
Picture it: You’ve managed to land a great gig with a well-paying client and you can’t wait to get started and produce some of your best web design work…But then days elapse into weeks and the project just isn’t moving forward. The client replies to you sporadically, doesn’t fully answer your questions, and seems mega evasive.
This sometimes happens. Hey, things come up and get clients get busy. The problem is that you have requirements too, and a “busy” client is killing your schedule and your motivation.
So what do you do?
There’s no need to bail out just yet. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how you can speed up the whole process with slow clients.
1. Don’t Ask Too Much From a Client
If you’ve created multiple different designs for your client to review, plus you’ve got a few new color scheme ideas that you need to run by them, understand that this sort of feedback is heavy going and can overwhelm a busy client.
We know that it’s the client’s project that you’re working. And while you’d think they should be always available to check up on their project, clients often have several things on the go at once.
From now on, you need to take some responsibility. Is it necessary to have a client check every little thing that you do? Or can you get away with slimming down the amount of feedback that you need? If you can, do that.
A good client doesn’t want to—and shouldn’t have to—micromanage you. If you’ve got a massive list of things you want feedback on, find a way of narrowing it down. If you really do have eight templates to show them, cut them back to five.
Take some responsibility and don’t put too much on a client’s plate.
2. Clarify Issues as Soon as Possible
When clients give you a brief, they’ll typically ask if you have any questions. Instead of thinking “No, I’ll be okay for now,” or “I can ask a question at a later date,” use their invitation to ask questions right there and then.
A client might be available to answer at the time, but they might not be as available later on.
Moreover, asking for clarity as soon as possible means that you can just crack on with the job.
If there is something that you aren’t clear about, ask as soon as you can. That way, you can both move forward.
3. Set Expectations
From the start, you could explain to the client that you value, and expect good communication and feedback, and that these things help you to stay motivated and on track.
Of course, you’re also aware that you can’t talk to the client all the time, so why not schedule a brief weekly “catch-up/feedback session” to discuss the project and where you are at?
At the beginning of your project, it’s also important that you lay out what you can do and what you cannot do. Perhaps your client owns an eCommerce store for example and wants marketing services but you only design websites. Let them know this at the beginning to avoid disappointment.
4. Get Them Excited About the Project
It stands to reason that the more excited a client is about a project, the more they’ll want to talk about it, and the faster they’ll respond to your questions.
The easiest way to get a client excited about a project is to deliver your best work. If you deliver a draft that you know is second-rate, their own enthusiasm, motivation and passion for the project might take a dip.
Worse still, it weakens your relationship with them.
Instead of delivering a draft just for the sake of delivering a draft, hand in only your best work. Refine and tweak until you know that what you’ve got is so good that a client will be excited enough to respond and tell you what to do next.
The best thing is, that if a client sees the awesome work you’ve delivered so far, they’ll be so excited to see the end result that they’ll encourage you to stay on track.
5. Show your Own Passion For This Project
If a client can see that a freelancer or agency is super passionate about their project, it fires their own passion.
Rather than a client inspiring you, you can inspire the client!
A great idea is to get them excited about the tools you’ll be using for this project. Perhaps you could shoot them a message that goes a little like this:
“Hey! So, I’ve been mapping out this project, and wanted to show you some of the awesome tools I’m going to be using. For example, check out this neat POS that’s going to help your clients pay both online and offline.” Or you could show them examples of chatbots that you are going to implement on their website. You could also offer them the option to install a page builder.
Clients want to see you take an interest in their project. By showing your passion, you might be able to speed them up. Pretty soon they’ll be thinking, “Hey, this person really cares about my project. Perhaps I should start prioritizing it some more.”
6. The Follow up Email
If your client becomes unresponsive you must send an effective follow up email.
First, though, don’t become panicked by your clients lack of response. Don’t make assumptions about their thought process. You don’t want your email to come across as naggy.
The point of sending a follow up email is to move the process forward so that you can take further action on the project. Explain this to your client. Let them know that their lack of response may push back the project deadline, which can affect a variety of other projects either directly or indirectly.
It’s also best to have a single point of contact. If you require feedback from 4 different members of staff at a company, its going to be extremely difficult to get approval from each of them.
These are some ways to speed up the web design process with slow clients. All in all, though, there will be times when you’ll just need to have some patience. Clients don’t mind being nudged from time to time, but busy people don’t like to be nagged. Put our tips in place and have some patience with your clients.
Featured image via DepositPhotos.