What are Unreasonable Delays and How Do You Address Them with Your Clients

Many clients have unreasonable expectations about the timeline for their project. They want to know when they can expect it to be complete and will push back on you if they don’t like your answer.

This is a problem that we all face at some point in our careers as designers or developers.

In this article, we'll break down what unreasonable delays are and how you can address them with your client by using patience and empathy in order to avoid conflict.

What are Unreasonable Delays?

An unreasonable delay is simply a break in communication with a client, mainly when they request a very difficult task that cannot be achieved on time or within budget.

It's important to note that unreasonable delays are not a matter of the client being difficult. They may be frustrated for any number of reasons and need reassurance from you, but they don’t want their project to suffer because it is just in your best interest to manage expectations with them.

Unreasonable delays usually occur when a manager or stakeholder requests something very different than originally planned, either time-wise or budget-wise, which will require more work on your part without additional compensation or resources allocated by the company.

Unfortunately, this often happens around deadlines and budgets that have already been set, so there isn’t room for discussion on what can be changed in order to meet both parties’ needs.

How to Address Unreasonable Delays

Unreasonable delays can drag down the efficiency of any project. For this reason, it’s important to address these concerns before they become problematic. Here are some ways to do it.

Make Sure Your Clients Understand the Nuances of the Project

Before you start any project, it’s important to make sure your client understands the nuances. We recommend using a proposal form like this one in order to explain expectations and clarify tasks before starting work on their project.

This is also an opportunity for you as a designer or developer to understand what they want from the finished product so that you can offer solutions based on those needs, no matter how unreasonable they may be.

Keep Clients Informed Throughout the Process:

It’s important to keep clients informed of the progress you’ve made on their projects. If there is an unreasonable delay, use this time as a chance for them to offer input or request changes that may help the situation.

Always Be Patient and Empathetic:

The key thing here is patience. If your client requests something very different than what was originally agreed upon, try not to take it personally; they are just frustrated because they feel like their expectations were unmet in some way and want to make sure everything gets finished properly before moving onto another project.

You can also be understanding when communicating with them by using empathetic  instead of judgemental language. This will allow both parties to move forward without tension between one another.

The Bottom Line:

When unreasonable delays stack up across different projects, the consequences become almost unbearable. NetNet helps agencies properly plan their projects accordingly to avoid unreasonable delays and address them when necessary.

Get started to learn more about how our platform can benefit your agency.

January 27, 2023
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