We see this very often when working with our clients and friends in the industry. “My client is abusing the project and asking for a lot”. We understand this frustration. It is indeed the worst.
Are you at fault of this though? Do you sell your clients “custom” websites? Are you prepared to deliver custom functionality, custom designs, custom content, custom imagery…. the list goes on.
If you are not prepared to deliver such a thing within your scope then you should rethink your wording and back off from using the word “custom”.
We have spoken and taken the time to dissect the conversations we have had with our clients and friends and dug deep to see what are they really refer to when they say “custom”.
The secret is out. The real intention of using the word was the for the front-end design. They knew that, the team knew that, but did your client know that? Nope, your client was not really made aware. They unintentionally have been given false expectations, which easily amounts to scope creep.
Fixing this problem is much easier than it seems. At the point of sale, educate your client and align expectations. Instead of using the word “custom website” try using the word “custom design”. We have used this approach and it works!
It is your duty to explain what type of websites you sell. Most likely, you are selling a website that is meant for conversions or marketing. These websites already have an established flow. You only need to tweak it, not reinvent them.
For example, you can say the following to your client:
“a custom design is built on top of an optimized framework for maximum performance. We tailor the design to match your brand, tonality, and message, and merge it with already proven best practices.”
Now your client might ask, well can I do this? Can I add that? If it’s within the scope of your framework, the answer should be yes. If it’s not, then it’s either a functionality you’re willing to explore or the client is willing to pay more. If the answer is no. Then you should look into updating your framework.
Another approach which we use with success is, the term “tailored designs” We already have a framework and workflow that works and yields results, we continue to improve it everyday. The only thing we need to do is tailor the look and feel of the design to impress and drive results.
What are your pain-points with custom websites and scope creep?