Have you ever been caught in a revision loop? Where you’re stuck in an endless cycle of revisions, edits and corrections? If you’ve gone through this, you know it’s a disaster.
A client, your boss—someone wants you to make a few revisions. You make them, then they come back with more revisions. You fix those, but they’re back again with more.
This cycle repeats itself over and over and over again. Best case scenario, it’s plain frustrating. Worst case scenario, it’s a never ending nightmare, where the client ends up frustrated and angry.
Some designers feel it’s inevitable. They want to keep their clients happy and they know clients typically want revisions, so they feel pressured to offer “unlimited revisions.” If you’re able to create a design your client is happy with, the first time, it can work.
But what if you can’t? Is there a way to keep clients happy while dramatically reducing revision requests?
As it turns out, there is…
The process I’m about to share is one we’ve used to reduce revision requests by 96 percent, year after year in our own business. We used this process to turn over projects quickly and more importantly, make our clients very, very happy.
But before we talk the perfect design or making clients happy, we need to talk about revisions.
When it comes to decision making, personality definitely plays a big role. But there are two important factors that play an even bigger role. Optimizing your process around these two factors can create a dramatic increase in client happiness and a reduction in the amount of revisions you receive.
So what are they?
1.Temperament—your client’s nature, disposition or behavioral habits;
2.values—this is more about their worldview and (much) less about morality or ethics.
Let’s look at temperament first. When it comes to temperament there are lots of different rating systems. I’ll keep things simple and focus on four temperaments, as it relates to what you do.
There are 4 basic temperaments
When you’re working with these clients, it often feels like they’re bulldozing their way over you. They don’t ask, they demand. These clients are more likely to assume they’re smarter or more capable than you.
Fun clients struggle to think things through. They start a project full of energy but struggle to finish. They’re easily distracted, struggle to anticipate events and rarely weigh the consequences of their actions.
Did I mention perfect clients have very high standards? They’re only satisfied when things are perfect to them. They’re obsessed about how their project should be done. They’ll lose sleep over that single item that’s out of place. Try to rush things along and they move even slower.
While peaceful clients are great at relationships, they struggle with decision making and changes. It can be difficult to get a response from them; they’re more likely to agree with you to avoid conflict, even if your decisions is not what they want. Often times they’ll hold things in until they explode.
Eduard Spranger, a German philosopher and psychologist identified the six value systems that determine how we view the world.
are people who have an intense desire to search for, absorb and share knowledge:
are focused only on the bottom line. They want a return on any investment made, whether it’s their time, money, resources or relationships:
are focused on beauty, form and harmony. They view the world through the lens of beauty and presentation:
love people and thrive on relationships. They choose to invest their time, money and resources in helping and serving others. They focus their attention on relationships, helping others achieve their potential:
crave and pursue power. They have a strong need for significance, choosing to use their position to influence and guide others:
crave unity and utopia. Their hope for the ideal pushes them to pursue tradition, spirituality and systems for living:
Clients aren’t happy until things fit with their temperament and value systems. You could give your clients exactly what they’ve asked for, but if it clashes with their beliefs, temperament or value system they’re more likely to reject your work.
Get it right and clients feel you “get them.” All of a sudden you’ve gone from just another designer or developer to a trustworthy adviser they’ll fight to keep. When this happens their trust in you skyrockets as revision requests fade away.
We’ve seen how temperament and values affect client happiness. How do we use that to create designs they’re happy with each and every time?