Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Unlimited Revision Dilemma
It’s an inherent contradiction. We’re confident in our work and want our clients to be happy, yet the idea of offering unlimited revisions makes us feel nervous. One round is fine, perhaps even two or three is feasible, but beyond that, it’s like writing a blank cheque isn’t it?
Well no, not quite.
There is no denying that some clients can be picky, but it’s not in their interest to spend unnecessary time asking for endless minute changes. The reason for this is simple; no one wins when a job is delayed. However challenging they can be, clients do understand that you both have the same goal: the best job possible, with the most efficient use of resources – time, money and physical assets.
But nevertheless, there are still things to consider before you provide this as a standard part of your service.
Balancing risk against reward
When you offer revisions, you are essentially guaranteeing the quality of your work or service. The more this includes, the stronger that guarantee appears.
Unlimited revisions are therefore a powerful and bold proposition. The client wants certainty, and from their point of view, it shows that you are skilled, that you stand behind what you do and that you pride yourself on doing a good job. Ultimately this increases their confidence, strengthening your relationship.
This has obvious benefits, as customer retention is far easier once you’ve earned their trust and demonstrated your value.
But there are of course risks too, you will, therefore, need to manage client engagement from the start and right the way through to the project’s timely completion – but surely you do this already?
The crux, however, is the balance you strike between being flexible – so you can actually make changes – and being efficient – so resources are not squandered and work with other clients isn’t jeopardised.
Project planning and management
Some of this risk can be offset by investing a little more time upfront negotiating a job’s spec and planning its delivery. Here are some considerations to bear in mind:
- On-board diligently: Know who you want to work with (and who you don’t) and develop robust methods to vet the suitability of potential clients to help you avoid the headaches the picky ones bring.
- Determine boundaries: Define a ‘revision’ and set parameters to ensure changes stay within the original scope of a project and include it in your contract. But it may also be useful to consider a provision for more if needed, perhaps as a billable extra or add-on.
- Ask questions: Clarity at the outset is essential and will reduce the need for revisions later, so ask as many questions as is necessary.
- Set expectations: To ensure things run smoothly, also define your role and theirs, plus some clear objectives to map out the process, so everyone knows what to expect, from whom and when.
- Prioritise communication: Keep your client informed as you progress through each stage of the project so they can offer feedback incrementally. Not only does this save time in the long run, but it gives you both the opportunity to bounce new ideas before work begins on the next stage.
Unlimited revisions are a big step, but the risk that a client would make endless requests for changes is unlikely as they’d be wasting their time as much as yours!
Plus, when you also consider that a returns policy is a relatively standard part of any sales process, is it really that different? Surely, it’s just good customer service.