How to deal with Curve Ball clients?
Recently, I had to fire a client in mid stream of her project. It was a simple seven page project. A small faith based organization, with less than fifty families. A very dynamic pastor, whose wife was the operational / business manager. She would be my contact.
When we discuss some pain points solutions at our discovery meeting, she was very impressed and hired me on the spot. Realizing this was a small church, with limited funds. We agreed to create three phase plan. This would allow us to work on some small pain points solutions and provide the client with an online presence.
Soon the client was asking for items, which were not included in the scope or contract. When the cost was revealed to the client about how much to add this and that feature to the project, the client became very upset. Eventually it became obvious that the project was not a good fit, as I found myself dealing with a curve ball client.
We all have curve ball clients. Clients who are boundary busters, and want you to build more that what was asked. How do you deal with curve ball clients.
Is it in the scope? Make sure your scope is very clear. How many pages. The goal of each page. What items are going to be on each page. Will this be a e commerce web site? Who is going to be responsible for plugins and memberships? Who will handle hosting and domain name registration?
Make sure you have a conversation with your client and clearly explain, what the expectation and goals of the project. Outline the number of pages, and what each page is going to deliver. Gather details about what the client is expecting. Make sure you outline what the client wants and provide cost analysis of anything outside of scope of project. Communicate with client, that anything outside of scope, will come at additional cost. Have a policy about when and how additional cost will be paid?
Change of scope
Have a plan in place for any changes of scope. Gather details of what the client wants to accomplish. Remember you are the expert. You can always complete the project and have the client hire someone else to add some other features and/or functionality. Meet with your team, to see if the additional feature and/or functionality is possible. Make recommendation to your client.
Update project and contract
All changes must be added to the contract. These changes will include time modifications, cost, and payment expectation. If these changes moves the launch deadline, then these issues need to be communicated to the client. The key is to communicate to your client. Do not work on something outside of the scope? Your project will never get completed…
Image courtesy of Taha Ajmi.
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