Client Laziness

How do you deal with it?

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9 Replies - 1683 Views - Last Post: 21 June 2010 - 03:51 AM

#1 xTorvos  Icon User is offline

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Client Laziness

Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:44 AM

When I run into something that the client should be making the decisions on, I will usually halt development on that part of the project until the client has given me a template or idea to work off of.

For example, say I'm developing a website. While writing the website I may just use some lorem ipsum to get the idea across but this would obviously need to be changed before going production. When the time comes to go production, I'll tell the client to let me know what they would like to put. The problem is that the client will say that they are going to get back to me on it, but in the following meetings, I continue to remind them about it and nothing ever comes of it.

One option that I have would be to just write the content myself. Let's say that this would take 2 minutes for the sake of the example meaning that this wouldn't hurt my development time. I could do this, but it would only be good enough to go prod--AKA, not quality content and not what the client wants exactly.

My question is, how do you deal with client laziness such as this? Do you just do it yourself? Do you sit the client down and walk them through it? Let me know what you've done in the past or if you have any suggestions.

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Replies To: Client Laziness

#2 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 04 June 2010 - 09:55 AM

Quote

My question is, how do you deal with client laziness such as this?
The answer to this problem is specifying the work done in the contract.

First, make it legally clear beforehand that you provide the design, and if they want working content, you will charge extra. When laziness = cost money, clients will definitely take notice. Thus, if the client just wants a design, you hand over the design with lorem ipsum content. If they want you to manage content, make sure you have negotiated this beforehand, or that your initial contract indicates clearly that the payment was for the design, not for maintenance and content development.

The second thing you must do is work in stages, associated with payments. Getting a design is one milestone. Content development is another. Set this out beforehand, when hashing out the contract.

Your clients aren't malicious. Lazy, possibly. But a big issue is that they have a vague idea, and they leave the "magic" up to you. They have no understanding of the work involved. To an infuriating point, but that's how it is. When you clearly specify stages of work with associated costs, clients will pay attention.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 04 June 2010 - 01:39 PM

Not to mention a "go live" check list that must be completed or the go live doesn't happen. If go live doesn't happen then it cost cash. Then also provide some sort of milestone. Three weeks from 'go live' have a rough outline of their content going in. One week have the client finalize their input. Go live have the input.
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 05 June 2010 - 09:16 AM

If you specifically defined your responsibilities in the contract to get paid and you fulfilled them, then client laziness is not your problem. If they aren't ready by launch date, that's their problem; just hand over your work so that it works on their server, collect your money and be done with it. If you aren't ready by launch date, that's everyone's problem.
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#5 xTorvos  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 05 June 2010 - 10:29 AM

I love the answers that I've seen so far. But I'm starting to get the feeling that I have have miss-communicated. When I say "client" I'm talking about a person who works for the same company for whom I work. There is no dropping it and leaving or saying it's their fault and there is no contract other than the one saying I work for said company.

Does this tidbit change any of the answers?
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 05 June 2010 - 02:09 PM

Then let's ask a different question- who will get all the glory for the site launching and whose head will roll if it doesn't that is your supervisor? I'm sure you've heard that the boss gets all the glory. The boss also has power, influence and responsibilities you do not. Talk to this person and see if he or she can make magic happen. If not, then it isn't your problem unless you are asked to develop content.

Trust me when I say that from my non-profit website project, I've learned that you can't will work a hell of a lot harder and give up your life to get things done without a supportive boss and motivated/hard-working team. Having a good client interested in a positive final result and is willing to help and be supportive is always a nice bonus as well.
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#7 raziel_  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:20 PM

i find nothing more irritating then unwilling client to provide supervision.
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#8 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 06 June 2010 - 01:38 PM

I don't really like the phrase "client supervision," as it implies that the client is responsible for managing the website. This really isn't the case at all- the project manager is responsible for this. If your point is that the client should be providing input, feedback, and content (unless negotiated otherwise), then I agree with you.
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#9 moopet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 20 June 2010 - 04:20 PM

I get this a lot. I also get copy from clients which is ungrammatical, hasn't been spell-checked and often doesn't even form complete sentences. In a way it's embarrassing to deploy without fixing it first, but that brings a host of problems itself. If I fix someone's words here then I have to do it everywhere. What if they take offense at me editing it? Where does the line between fixing obvious typos and broken URLs and so forth and taking on the role of a copy editor lie? The times I have queried content before putting it live I've rarely received an answer at all.

I'm pretty sure every answer is wrong to some extent.
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#10 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client Laziness

Posted 21 June 2010 - 03:51 AM

I'd just charge clients the same rate for spell-checking and content generation (no matter what rambling nonsense I come up with) as I'd charge per line of code. On one hand you don't want to scare them away from coming back to you with their next dumbass money-making scheme, but on the other hand, you want them to come back with schemes and leave their stupidity at home with their brains.
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