Strategies For Handling Revision Requests
Communication with clients on Textbroker is critical is when revision requests pop up. As long as you follow clients' specified instructions as conscientiously as possible, you probably won't get very many requests for revision. Sometimes, though – even if you follow a client's instructions to the letter – you'll still get that dreaded “Customer has a change request for an article” email in your inbox. In today's blog post, meaghan looks at how to handle various revision request scenarios so that you can keep your clients happy – while maintaining your sanity.
Last week, I talked about how to communicate effectively with clients. Soliciting existing clients for DirectOrders is not only allowed, but it's one of the best ways to make them aware that you're available for steady work. Sending followup messages to clients thanking them for accepting your article and letting them know that you're available is a savvy way to get more work.
Another situation in which communication with clients on Textbroker is critical is when revision requests pop up. As long as you follow clients' specified instructions as conscientiously as possible, you probably won't get very many requests for revision. Sometimes, though – even if you follow a client's instructions to the letter – you'll still get that dreaded “Customer has a change request for an article” email in your inbox. In today's blog post, I'll take a look at how to handle various revision request scenarios so that you can keep your clients happy – while maintaining your sanity.
The Revision Request Has Nothing To Do With The Original Directions
Sometimes, you follow all of the specified instructions on an order, only to have it sent back for revision. Upon opening the revision requests, you discover that the client is asking you to add something that wasn't a part of his original instructions. Perhaps he suddenly wants you to include an additional keyword, or maybe he is looking for additional descriptions that weren't originally requested. Either way, you have a judgment call to make.
If the additional keywords or other requested information mean only an additional minute or two of work, it really isn't worth haggling over – doing that is a waste of time. Naturally, you're free to take a strict approach to the situation and let the client know that since these instructions weren't originally included, you'll be unable to satisfy the request. However, if it will only take a minute or two and will keep the client happy, it's usually best to step up and make the requested additions.
The Revision Request Is Vague/Non-Specific
When a client sends back an order for revision, he has to include specific instructions on what needs to be changed. If he doesn't – for instance, if he says something like, “This just isn't quite what I had in mind” – then you do have a leg to stand on. Send the client a message requesting clarification, but keep an eye on the countdown. You only have 24 hours to resubmit the article before it disappears into the ether. If the client isn't forthcoming about the specifics of his request, tweak the article a bit and send it back through. If additional problems arise, feel free to contact the Textbroker staff for assistance.
The Revision Request Will Exceed The Word Count
Another problem that sometimes occurs with revision requests is that, in order to make the requested revision, you'll have to exceed the allotted number of words. When a revision request makes your article “spill over” the maximum word count by a significant amount, you're within your rights to inform the client that they need to send through an additional order. Whenever possible, of course, try to make revised articles fit within the original word count. In cases where the requested changes require much more than was originally asked for, though, don't be afraid to draw the line.
It's worth noting, too, that clients can increase the word count for any given order at any time. Many of them are unaware of this, though, so keep in mind that you can always float that option by them in these situations. Offer to contact customer support on their behalf; a member of the Textbroker staff will assist them. If a deadline is looming and your client is unreachable, consider sending through what you have and asking for a DirectOrder to cover the balance instead. Finally, please keep in mind that clients can only modify the word count on OpenOrders; the ability to do so for DirectOrders is not currently available.
The Revision Request Requires A Complete Rewrite
Sometimes, the article that you come up with might not be quite what the client was looking for and he may pretty much ask for a complete rewrite. This may happen if you take the wrong slant – using a casual tone where a more formal tone was required, for instance – or when a sales pitch was needed but you wrote an informational piece. Whatever the specifics are, this is another situation where you need to decide if the revision is justifiable. If you clearly missed an important part of the original instructions, then you should absolutely do the rewrite and take it as a lesson learned. If the original instructions didn't specify what tone to take – or if the client is suddenly backtracking unfairly on you – then you should send an email to Textbroker support for backup. They will take a look at the situation and decide whether a rejection is in order. If not, you'll still receive payment and can blacklist the client if you'd like to.
Finally, no black marks of any kind are brought against writers for canceling revision requests. If you decide that it's not in your best interest to go through with a revision, cancel it right away so another author can get to work on it. You'll avoid a lot of hand-wringing, and clients won't be subjected to long, drawn out waits.
Be Prompt – And Don't Take It Personally
Above all, always handle revision requests as efficiently as possible. Clients are much more likely to be satisfied with the changes when they're made in a timely manner; if you push it until the last hour of the 24-hour deadline, patience will be wearing thin. Finally, remember not to take revision requests personally. It's strictly business, and it's part of being a writer.