The 14 Days of Grace
Finally you launch a website, the client is over the moon with the way the project went (due to your expert project management) and you have a few celebratory jars down at the local. Life couldn’t be better… until…
Time passes and you’re really benefiting from these new processes you introduced. Projects are running on time, you’re sustaining a healthly cashflow and you even catch yourself finishing early on a Friday, safe in the knowledge that you have everything under control. Then you get an email out of the blue from that client those website launched 6 months ago. Without opening it you know it’s bad from the subject line…
‘A few tweaks to my website’, or ‘I’ve noticed a bug on my website’.
You open the email and surprise surprise it’s from ‘that’ happy client you worked for 6 months ago with a list of 25 changes they want applying to their website!
*Explicit explicit… not fit to print… * f*** s*** b******
‘Unfortunately’ you may be obiliged to carry out these changes because you promised an ‘error free’ website or even a ’100% satisfaction guarantee’ when you initially pitched for the work.
Inevitably this is work you can’t charge for, work you’ll have to squeeze in after work, possibly late on a Friday! So what do you do? Cry? Just do it? Well yes you don’t really have a choice do you.
Learn from your mistake
One thing you can introduce in your contract is a 14 Day Grace Period. A 14 Day Grace Period gives your client 14 days to test their website to the hills, report any bugs and get it exactly how they want it, without incuring additional costs.
The advantages of a 14 Day Grace Period can be
- Signoff - Giving the client a limited time period in which to report errors back to you enables you to get any changes completed quickly. Once done it can be archived and you can forget about it.
- Extra revenue – Once the 14 Day Grace Period has elapsed it’s in your right to charge the client for any changes they want making.
- Stay on schedule – Your current work commitments don’t get affected and you can stay on schedule. Incuring these unforseen changes to old projects can have knock-on effects on current projects.
- Improve client relationship and retention – These things happen in every project, something gets missed and it needs doing. Laying out the rules at the beginning can help to prevent making a relationship from turning sour. If your client wants something doing on the website they know they have to pay for it.
- Prevent Scope Creep – Scope creep is hard to prevent, but this at least this enables you to get paid for the extra work you do.
This ’14 Day Grace Period’ can be flexible in duration if you wish but we have always worked to this time frame as it seems to suit both parties best.
Do you enforce a ‘period of allowable changes’?
Do you suffer from clients squeezing extra work out of you for free?
Do you find yourself bending over backwards to service a low value client?
Then let us know, we’d love to hear you stories, and even your solutions if you have any.