A client brief is a critical input for the project. The brief is a document provided by the client to the business they want to work with. The information established in the document is used as the basis for the activity to be conducted. With the brief, you know the needs and demands of the client. Thus, it gets quicker and easier to satisfy the same.
Many times in business, we come across clients who have trouble expressing their needs and wants. A brief with too many confusing requests can go wrong. However, for us it is necessary to know what the client wants and comprehending them becomes a challenging task.
The lack of effective communication may result in a vague brief. Scanning through it and searching for relevant points can be a time consuming process. With a vague brief, it’s hard to convert the information gathered into creating a clear, actionable and measurable plan for the businesses. Lack of clarity can lead to making the process lengthy and complex
- Leads to a shaky start
Client brief is a part of one of the initial processes. Faltering in the beginning itself could hamper all the following processes. Not receiving a good headstart can lead to working with broken pieces ahead. This way you will never be able to achieve the objective or measure your goals. Also notice that receiving a vague brief from the client also indicates that maybe they are unclear about the goals and objectives of the project. Over time, they may lose their sense of direction leading to frustration.
2. Multiple iterations- affects team morale
Uncertain briefs affect the team morale too. The team ends up making multiple iterations on the ideas because of the guessing game. Doing revisions takes time and the members may start to drain their patience. Seeing hours of work being scraped can demotivate them; a negative environment may be created.
3. Results in more conflicts
Attending vague briefs to an extent is like setting yourself up for failure. Some clients refrain from specifying their budget in the briefing. You may work according to ideas you have in mind. Heated arguments might arise in future on this aspect. Talk about the type of budget they have to ensure that they are interested in working with you and that you know the set limit.
You may not give more priority to this work amongst your tight working schedule because of the confusion in the clients expectations. The client might communicate their concerns on this at a later stage. Avoid the unnecessary roadblocks, it may prove to be costly for the business otherwise.
4. Hampers business relationships
A vague brief means missing out on some vital elements. This may pull you back from hitting the target mark. There are higher chances of either underperforming or over-performing with an unclear brief. Companies end up blaming the clients for not achieving desired results. Know that they client is also spending their penny and that they did not have any bad intentions. Tampering of your relations with clients because of the blame is a big no. Do not instill fear in the clients mind. You want the client to work with you again.
No one ever said that understanding each other will be a walk in the park. You do not want the disadvantages of vague briefs to accept your work. Though adjustments like tweaking questions, multiple consultations, etc. can help you in processing the clients goals better. Be clear on your expectations and specify your requirements beforehand to the client. If they do not understand, give them examples of the kind of information you expect. If they are not able to articulate what they want, try asking them what they do not want.
Asking right questions, being an effective communicator, and a patient listener is your key to excel at client briefing. Do not over do it. Stick to necessary needs. Remember it is called a ‘brief’ for a reason.
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