Dealing with client feedback

VV 22 Mar

Whether it’s great news or you’re on the receiving end of a verbal drubbing, it’s important to respond to client feedback in a timely manner. Here’s how…

The flow of information between you and your client should be smooth – but in real life it can be anything but. Vague emails, rushed phone calls or awkward meetings can harm the relationship you’ve built up with your client.And when it comes time for them to provide feedback, things can kick off.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting praise or only negative feedback, you need a system in place to respond to it.

Don’t take it personally
No matter whether they love your work or hate what you’ve done, don’t take it personally. It’s just business.

They may have met you a few times and have a sense of who you are, but they’re not your friend and their feedback is on your work not your personality.

Give them your best…
One of the best ways to handle feedback is to give your client the very best. Don’t send anything to them that you’re not 100% happy with. Silly errors can put a client on the defensive.

Have a system of checks in place for anything that will land on a client’s desk to avoid such mistakes. Remember, they’re paying good money for your services, so make sure they get their money’s worth.

…but prepare for the worst
It’s always nice to imagine that glowing email popping into your inbox full of praise about how you nailed the brief and there are no changes to be made. But it probably won’t be like that, at least not all the time.

Try to imagine the worst possible email you could receive – doing this before you send it to them could also help you spot areas they might not be happy with.

Get to the crux of the matter
Once they’ve replied, the next step is to find out actually what they want. Even the most positive feedback could include a few amends or suggestions.

Take their feedback and strip it down to the basics so you can see what the problem is. It could be a few minor tweaks or a major rethink.

VV 22 Mar 2

Ask questions
The best way to understand what they want changing is to talk with them to make sure you fully understand the feedback.

Get them to clarify every point, preferably providing examples from what you sent them.

Lay out the next steps
Finally, you’ve got to let them know how you’re going to handle this. Tell them what your next steps will be, whether it’s a simple matter of making a few amends or bringing new people on to the project to implement the changes.

By being open and honest with them about your process, you should hopefully avoid any further negative feedback.

Posted by The Secret Businessman