4 steps to prevent long reviews with tech clients
Long review processes are one of the top frustrations that I hear from creative agencies, who are working on marketing tools and content with tech clients.
Do you share that feeling? Does your client expect you to deliver amazing results in a short turnaround time… but drag their feet when you ask for information or feedback?
Wouldn’t it save you a lot of time, money and frustration if you could speed up that review process.
As someone coming from your client’s side of things, let me share you 4 steps that significantly speed up that cycle…
1. Only start when the foundation is crystal clear
Tech clients are typically in fire-fighting mode, always preparing for the next product launch. Your work is just one item on their huge to-do list, which means your briefings are likely to be short… and not necessarily sweet!
Often you’ll be expected to do your job using basic, hastily prepared information. And that’s where all the trouble starts.
Forget about all the details in a briefing. Make sure you understand what story your client is trying to tell at the highest level, as this becomes the foundation for all your work. Ask lots of questions and make sure your client answers them BEFORE you get started. Confirm that all stakeholders on your client’s side are aligned on the overall concept, otherwise it will simply rebound on you when review time comes. Remember, it’s very tough to fix the foundation when you’ve already built a complete house on top.
2. Get the right guidance
With the foundation firmly established, you can get to work on the details of your client’s tech story. Sometimes the complexities of that story can sound like Chinese, so make sure you get the right guidance from the client – find someone that you can brainstorm with (and ping with quick questions).
You might find that your client says they lack the resources to support you. Simply remind them that sidelining your work is a false economy: getting the right information first time will streamline the review process and guarantee a far better delivery.
3. Add an additional quality check
When you’ve completed the project and think you’re done, don’t rush to share it with your client (for review by all internal stakeholders). Your work might look good from a creative perspective, but you are not the technical expert. So make sure your delivery is first checked by an individual that can review it from the perspective of your client’s organization… and process that feedback first.
This additional step will upgrade your delivery significantly. What will be the response from your clients? They’ll be surprised by the high quality of your first submission and will only have minor points to feed back to you – points that are quick and easy to process.
4. Buffer & align feedback
You can’t please all the people all the time! Your client’s review process is likely to include a range of departments, experts and disciplines, some of whom will view your work in very different ways. This can often lead to irrelevant or even contradictory feedback.
It might be impossible for you to listen and take on every comment without degrading the quality of your own work. So make sure there’s one person with responsibility for ‘buffering’ the feedback – for aligning all the comments and deciding which ones should be progressed. It will make your task a whole lot easier.
Keep these 4 steps in mind when initiating your next tech project. It might take courage to slow down your client at the start of a project, but you (and they) will soon see that the extra effort pays a huge dividend, as you quickly move towards a timely and successful conclusion.
What frustrates you most in the review process with tech clients?
Please share with me in the comment box below.
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