Dealing with clients that do not want to pay for additional revisions

In the article, we will review possible options for dealing with clients who want to avoid paying for additional revisions.

When dealing with clients who thought out-of-scope revisions wouldn’t be paid for, it’s crucial to have a clear and honest conversation. A phone or Zoom call is more effective than an email, as tone and intent can be misinterpreted. During this conversation, you can review the statement of work together and, if needed, refer to the contract terms and determine what was agreed upon. However, there are plenty of steps that you can take to avoid these issues in the first place.

Define included hours for revisions:

One solution to this issue could be offering a certain number of hours for free revisions, with the standard rate applied afterwards. If you opt for this, it is essential to inform the client when the overage will be reached so they know of any additional charges. This approach balances flexibility with transparency. It’s crucial to remind the client that billing hourly means billing for all time worked. If they are uncomfortable with this, renegotiating the contract to something that works for both parties may be necessary. However, it’s essential to emphasize that even minor fixes take time and effort and that your time is valuable and comes at a cost.

To prevent similar situations in the future, it’s important to implement a clear and straightforward process for revisions. This includes setting a specific number of revisions per stage, outlining what constitutes quality feedback versus frivolous feedback, and having a comprehensive briefing process better to understand the client’s needs and limit revisions.

Onboarding & educate your clients

Education and communication are critical to reducing revisions and increasing client satisfaction. Take the time to explain your creative choices and understand the client’s likes and dislikes. By doing this, you can guide the client and create an environment that reduces the need for revisions. 

When sending design proofs, use clear titles, such as “Initial Concepts,” “First Revisions,” etc., to keep the client informed and aware of the revision process, which can also help reduce the number of revisions needed.

Limiting the number of revisions to two or three and being firm about additional charges if revisions exceed the agreed-upon limit is also a good idea. This helps maintain the credibility of your business and ensures that your time and effort are appropriately compensated.

Easy to understand statement of work

It’s essential to let the client know what is outside your contract’s current scope and quote your hourly rate. If they ask for an estimate of additional hours, provide a rough estimate that includes meeting time, actual work time, and testing time. When handling revisions, make sure to clearly state what the revisions include and that anything additional will come at a cost. When it comes to websites, require all content in advance and ask for at least three examples of other sites they like and why.

In some cases, the situation may arise because a committee is involved or the client has not fully thought through what they want. In these cases, you may have to charge a redesign fee. It’s important to understand that these kinds of clients can be challenging and may require firm action, such as requesting payment or parting ways.

To build a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship, it’s essential to aim for what is fair and reasonable for both parties. Proposing to share the revision burden with the client creates a foundation for a positive working relationship. If the client insists on many revisions, it’s best to ask them to order them by priority and work through them in that order until the hours have been used. Then, follow up with a call to determine whether to continue for a fee or address it later as part of an ongoing retainer or side project after launch. 

By approaching the situation with clear communication, a fair solution, and a clear process for revisions, you can maintain a win-win working relationship while protecting the interests of your business.

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